FRANCES NEISH

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002

Untitled oil on canvas 48 x 72 inches 1995


Untitled oil on canvas 72 x 48 inches 1995


Cancer was introduced to me by my mother's illness, starting with breast cancer during her mid-40s and running 10 years until she finally succumbed at the age of 56. What a fight she put on! And rarely did she lose her sense of humor. Her spirit during this period profoundly affected my attitude towards living and my desire to make each day count.

Sometimes this painting is my mother at the time of her radical mastectomy; sometimes it is a mirror of me now amidst my fears for life and health. Her illness brought us together and, ultimately, took us apart, but only in the physical world.

Creativity is simply a way of life for me, I've never had a choice about it. Art is my way of making sense of the world, my way of looking inward. It challenges me to maximize the potential this gift of life offers; it is my closest companion.

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