A simple story

By on January 14, 2013
Photographer David Jay makes a beautiful story out of a fatal disease. Birmingham 365

Photographer David Jay makes a beautiful story out of a fatal disease. Birmingham 365

The UAB Visual Arts Gallery is presenting “The SCAR Project: Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon,” a photo project consisting of large-scale, piercing portraits that commemorate breast cancer survivors’ journeys.

Fashion Photographer David Jay’s ongoing and nationally displayed project features over 100 women around the world who have traveled across the country and world to visually share their experiences and struggles with breast cancer.

Jay shot many of the models in his studio in New York City. If they weren’t well enough to make the trip, he came to them.

The exhibition was co-produced by UAB Associate Professor of English, Cynthia Ryan, Ph.D., and UAB Visual Arts Interim Gallery Director, John Fields.

“Cynthia, who has written extensively about breast cancer and David’s work, approached me about hosting the exhibition at the UAB Visual Arts Gallery,” said John Fields, UAB Visual Arts Interim Gallery Director, “and once I saw images from the SCAR project, I knew that it would be a powerful exhibition.”

Fashion Photographer David Jay manifests the survivors’ experiences with their disease in his photography by snapping raw, empowering photos. The compilation of pictures casts a shadow on the survivors’ pasts and radiates the light in their future.

As stated on the SCAR Project’s website, the project’s mission is to help affected women “reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, their identity, and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it.”

“David’s work is not only emotionally and aesthetically potent, but it is also socially and politically relevant to the national dialogue currently surrounding health care in our country,” said Fields.

The Gallery is also showing a subset of the SCAR Project called the Alabama Project: The Civil Rights of Health Care. The images in this exhibition illustrate how women in Alabama are not only struggling with breast cancer, but with the health care system itself.

The dual exhibition will be displayed at the Visual Arts Gallery until January 31.

“With UAB’s status as a leader in breast cancer diagnosis, research, and treatment, and the UAB Visual Arts Gallery’s dedication to showcasing challenging and relevant contemporary exhibitions, the SCAR Project seemed like a great fit,” said Fields.

UAB Visual Arts Gallery is regarded as an open-minded and wide-ranging gallery that showcases an assortment of works. The Gallery claims itself to be “committed to critically considering and representing a diverse range of arts practices.”

The Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 205-934-0815 for more details.

Kaylyn Alexander
Staff Writer

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