The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
This body of work is based on events in the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot. It is the story of the author’s 10-year effort to understand the phenomenon of HeLa cells and the woman who unwittingly donated them to science, the far-reaching impact of this event on the lives of Henrietta’s children, and the relationship that the author painstakingly built with the Lacks family.
Within the pages of this book, there were certain moments that struck me with their punctum, terrible beauty and wonder. This series of six brooches magnifies those moments, those voices from Rebecca and Henrietta’s story. As objects engendered by words, they are transformed from print, moments both augmented and distilled into small narratives themselves, which illustrate the impact of the author’s writing on the reading artist. Their presentation as brooches links the bodies represented in the narrative with the body of the reader and that of the viewer.