K is for Kevin
K is for Kevin is a series of fifty-four embroideries on handkerchiefs. The words, phrases and images are taken from a steroid-fuelled diary, written over a period of ten months during breast cancer treatment. The diary, as diaries should be, is private. It’s a proper out-pouring, written in the middle the night when steroids, taken to mitigate chemotherapy drugs, meant there was no escape, not even in sleep. Once I moved into remission, I was resistant to adding to what I saw as a glut of cancer narratives out there in culture and the media but I gradually came to understand that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. As any survivor knows, from the moment of diagnosis onwards, once the ‘C word’ is said, you are never cancer ‘free’, it just hasn’t come back yet. Your task is to learn to live in the ‘new-normal’. This contradictory phrase, familiar to all because of Covid 19 but long established as part of advice to cancer patients was something I wrestled with, I could find nothing normal in my new landscape. In time I began realise that in order to accept and move on with cancer now a companion in life, I had no choice but to make something, to make work that expressed, marked, mapped and witnessed my experience.