OBJECT Breast Cancer – Abou Farman & Leonor Caraballo

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One of the bronze ‘Tumours’

(Image taken from; http://osocio.org/message/what-breast-cancer-really-looks-like/)

A series of work that has really interested me is an exhibition by the Husband & Wife team Farman-Carabello, which aimed to change how we perceive the issue of breast cancer. Carabello actually suffered from breast cancer, but fortunately recovered from the ordeal; she perceived the ‘pink’ colouration of the awareness campaign to not suit her interests, perceiving the pink as ‘infantile’, and too stereotypically feminine for such an intense and draining part of her life. Instead, she wanted to create a new symbol for the those who find the strength to overcome the disease. They began by taking the images of breast cancer tumours from MRI scans, and printed them out with a 3D printer; from these objects, they then made a series of moulds depicting the tumours, and eventually cast the forms into bronze.


Carabello at her exhibition, one of many survivors of Breast cancer

They also depicted the forms of the tumours on black sheets in white, as if they were bone-like structures. This juxtaposition of the two opposing colour schemes, much like my own tumour drawings, depict the tumour floating within the void of the human body. There is something very ethereal about such an image, as if they are objects of research, of interest, to us, despite their deadliness.


The forms of these objects is simply beautiful; the way they appear at once both liquid in form, but also distinctively solid; as if they have solidified blood, or the cancerous fluid as it flows around the body. The blackness of the form is what intrigues me the most, it’s much like oil in shade and texture. It spreads out like a virus, or an amorphous blob spreading out through the tissues. This is what I was trying to detail with the tentacles often attached to my tumours in the drawings, but have been unable to capture this aspect of the tumours successfully. It reminds me of cellular structures as well, the shape and form of them seemingly defying gravity, as if it has been caught in the middle of movement, and therefore ‘frozen’ in time. But, that is what these sculptures are; they are frozen representations of a moment in time; at this point, an ever growing cellular mass that is slowly destroying the body. How interesting it is to stare into the blackness of these sculptures, and see the deadliness within them.

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