Cancer touches everyone, loved ones, friends, colleagues, or yourself. It might be mild and treatable or it can be severe and devastating. I’ve come to see that EVERYONE is affected by cancer.
My mom was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 and my dad with pancreatic cancer in 2016. Cancer is a hard disease to wrap your brain around because you can’t see it. You just see the symptoms. You see the outside of a person. But what is this invader on the inside? I needed to know what it looks like, how it works, what it does.
Being a visual person, I explored what cancer actually looks like under a microscope. It’s quite beautiful for such an ugly disease. A paradox. Cells are mostly colorless; labs use vibrant dyes to show the contrast between healthy and abnormal cells. What I found was something quite striking and eerie. It was captivating, even beautiful. How can something so malignant possess so much beauty?
To process this paradox and find meaning, I created a body of work dedicated to my family, friends, and strangers who have experienced cancer. Whether a survivor, caregiver, or just someone that has been touched by cancer, we are all looking for meaning, for a way to process the pain and suffering so it can lead to empowerment and healing.
See more of Gayle's story on KFOR here.
Please plan on visiting the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Gaylord-Pickens Museum to experience Gayle's extraordinary exhibit on display through February 9, 2019.