In the series Aftermath, San Francisco-based photographer Kerry Mansfield courageously documented her two-year journey through breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and reconstructive surgery.
Mansfield was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31 and soon learned that women in their 30s are the fastest growing group of people with breast cancer in the United States. Shocked to be facing this unexpected and frightening disease, Mansfield searched for information about what her immediate future would look like and found that the photographic documentation she was looking for didn’t exist. It was this absence that inspired the series that would become Aftermath.
Mansfield’s intention was to not only help guide herself through the harrowing journey, but to create a direct, visual record of her experience so that others could better understand what it means to battle breast cancer.
As Mansfield writes in her original artist’s statement:
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…
Editor’s Note: An exhibition of Aftermath will be shown at SF Camerawork in San Francisco starting on December 4th and will run until January 24, 2015.