Saturday, 19 October 2013

Fun With Cancer Exhibition at MAC Birmingham

The “Fun With Cancer” exhibition at MAC Birmingham is an exhibition created by young cancer patients to both let our their own feelings about cancer and let people know what happens, how they feel about it and ultimately, have fun with their own illnesses.
Because the exhibition isn’t in a room, it’s down a corridor, the first thing that really hits you are the videos, which are constantly playing. If you were just walking down the corridor as opposed to looking around it, you would definitely notice the videos. As you walk round, the visual images are the most interesting things, and the pieces of writing that accompany them are beautifully written, too. 

Once you’ve seen how these young people feel with their illness, and how they deal with it, you can really begin to understand how they feel and why that is. The creative impact of this exhibition is mainly that; the empathy, not sympathy, that you can feel for these young people. 

Even though the exhibition isn’t made up of beautiful artwork or particular photographs, the emotions and insight into how cancer feels is intriguing, thought-provoking and makes the exhibition really interesting to look at.     
The thing I liked the most was probably the wall of cartoons with slogans, such as one with a grim reaper thinking about a dog, saying “even death thinks about puppies”. I thought this gave a lighter feel to the illness. I also liked the concept of “cancer friends”. They gave each cancer patient and a friend £100 to go out and spend, doing whatever they wanted and having fun, before coming back with a full role of disposable film and a definition on what a cancer friend was. I don’t think there were any particularly negative parts of the exhibition, though some things could have more photos or information.

So, overall, this exhibition was an interesting insight to cancer and how it affects people, whilst showing how they had fun with it. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who either wants to learn more about cancer or just has a general interest in the subject. Even if you don’t, it’s a fun thing to see and learn more about.

Charli x

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