Single Image Category
Chemo 4th Cycle
by Kerry Mansfield
As a photographer, I've spent most of my career looking deeply into the spaces we inhabit. The idea of Home — what it meant and how it felt — preoccupied my thinking. Almost all my pictures were of the spaces we live in or the things we live with.
But at the age of 31, a diagnosis of breast cancer forced me to redefine my ideas of home. Needless to say it came as quite a shock. I had exercised and eaten correctly, and like many of my age, I felt indestructible, never thinking the most basic of dwellings could be lost.
Faced with the nihilistic process of radical chemotherapy and surgery, my ideas of "where" I exist turned inward. As the doctors, with their knives and chemistry broke down the physical structure in which I lived, the relationship between the cellular self and the metaphysical self became glaringly clear. My body may not be me, but without it, I am something else entirely.
I knew that my long held image of myself would be shattered. What would emerge would be a mystery. It was in that spirit of unknown endings, that I picked up my camera to self document the catharsis of my own cancer treatment.
No one was there when these pictures were made, just my dissolving ideas of self and a camera. And what began as a story that could have ended in many ways, this chapter, like my treatment, has now run its course. While I can't say everything is fine now, I will say, "These are the images of my Home - as it was then", and with a little luck, there will be no more to come.
— Kerry Mansfield
Image and text © Kerry Mansfield. To see more from this series, and to learn more about the photographer, visit the website: www.kerrymansfield.com.