“Finding Beauty in Cancer”
I wonder about how it will feel to have a blank canvas. To have no hair, no breasts and changes in my body from chemo, double mastectomy, reconstruction, radiation and possible hysterectomy. Will I still be beautiful? What forms of beauty will I find in other people and things during my process. My long red hair has been a huge part of how I defined my beauty. I was a professional musician before becoming a photographer and named two albums and a record company after “Living with her Hair on Fire,” “Copperhead” and “Hair on Fire Records.” Now all of that hair is gone and I see it as an opportunity to reinvent myself daily. What will that be?
Finding Beauty in Cancer project will document my process and become both a gallery show of approximately 50 prints as well as a coffee table book. I will do a self-portrait each week to show exactly the state my body is in regardless of how I look or feel. Just me, not make up except my grandmother’s red lipstick because she always said, “Put on your red lipstick. You’ll feel better.” Every other week, on my good weeks after chemo treatments, I will collaborate with some of the best photographers, videographers, makeup artists, fashion designers, hair stylists, body painters, set designers and creative minds from Portland and beyond to create a brand new look and concept photo session which we will preview as a blog post and eventually add to the coffee table book and show. I want to collaborate with as many fabulous creatives as want to participate so please contact me directly if you want to be involved. If you have a photo shoot concept I would love to hear your ideas. So far we’ve done a series of before images, some nudes, to document that time. Since loosing my hair and becoming bald we’ve a high fashion shoot as a bald bride that I hope young girls with cancer will see and find hope and joy for themselves. Other ideas include a Rodeo Queen with horse, bald Cinderella in the forest, an Under the Sea, body painted octopus, from a dream I had, a ballroom dancer… This is a volunteer project. I am launching a kick starter campaign to fund the printing and production costs. A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to support self-employed cancer patients. Artists please contact Kimberli through the contact tab or call 503-234-8111.
Finding Beauty in Cancer project: http://friendsofkimberli.com
More creative writing, music and painting: www.kimberliransom.net/blog