see me, hear me, heal me

June 22 - August 3, 2017
Opening Reception - Wednesday June 28, 7-9pm

Imagine not being able to recognize yourself in the mirror - see me. Nobody asked how it felt when I lost my voice - hear me. I will never be the same, even after dozens of surgeries and years of rehabilitation - heal me

Since 2015, artists, researchers and health care providers have been listening to, learning from, and collaborating with people whose lives have been impacted by head and neck cancer. Our collective journey through a series of workshops, interviews, personal meetings, and group studio visits built the social and intellectual foundations for our ambitious project called ‘see me, hear me, heal me’ … Exploring patients’ experiences of head and neck cancer, developed by an interdisciplinary group of scholars, led by Minn Yoon (Dentistry), with Pamela Brett-MacLean (Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine; Psychiatry), Sean Caulfied (Art & Design), Lianne McTavish (Art & Design), Helen Vallianatos (Anthropology),  Suresh Nayar (Surgery), Jana Rieger (Rehabilitation Medicine), and Brad Necyk (Psychiatry), all at the University of Alberta. 

Ongoing research has featured analysis of patient narratives, and public presentations at local and international conferences. Expanding relationships have allowed patients to become embedded in the research/creation process and the result of this collaboration is exhibited here. ‘see me, hear me, heal me’ features the work of Sean Caulfield, Ingrid Bachmann, Jude Griebel, Jill Ho-You, Heather Huston and Brad Necyk; with video documentation by Kyle Terrence. By collaborating with head and neck cancer patients and health care providers, the artists in this exhibition faced the daunting and perhaps impossible task of representing the knowledge and experience of another. We hope that  this exhibtion allows viewers to see each other and hear each other on their own journeys in healing.

We thank all the patients and family members who entrusted us with their intimate stories. Their stories form the heart of this project. Among the many patients and family members who participated in this project, we are pleased to recognize (with permission):

Sharon Dixon
Kimberley Flowers
Debbie Hall-Lavoie
Eileen Kennedy
Bernie Krewski
Leslie O’Connor-Parsons
Ken Roth
Patricia Siferd
ML Williamson 

The larger project and this exhibition has been generously supported by the following organizations:

The Killam Trusts
Kule Institute for Advanced Studies (KIAS)
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS)
University of Alberta
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry



interview film by Kyle Terrence