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Navigating the internal landscape


Ruffels, TD, Navigating the internal landscape, UTAS, Academy Gallery, Inveresk, pp. 3 (2016) [Minor Creative Work]

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Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease will investigate the impact of cancer on our contemporary lives. The human body has approximately 100,000 billion cells, which are the bodyís basic building blocks. We begin from a single fertilised egg, and our bodies constantly make new cells to help us grow, to replace worn out cells and to heal damaged cells after injury. Normally cells grow and multiply in a controlled way, however, if something causes a mistake to occur in the cells' genetic blueprints, this control can be lost. Cancer is a disease of the body's cells and is the term used to describe collections of these cells, growing and potentially spreading within the body. As cancerous cells can arise from almost any type of tissue cell, cancer actually refers to about 100 different diseases which have their own pattern of growth and spread.

We do not know all of the risks and causes of cancer. However, there are a number of chemical, physical and biological agents that have been shown to trigger the mistakes in the cell blueprint that cause cancer. These are called carcinogens and include tobacco, ultraviolet radiation and asbestos but not all cancers are associated with known risk factors and cancer can sometimes develop without any specific causes. Cancer can happen within any part of the body. In Australia, the most common diagnosed cancers are that of prostate, colorectal, breast, melanoma and lung. Cancer can grow rapidly, sometimes spreading from the primary local organ and dispersing to the other parts of the body. Such a stage is called metastasis.

Cancer affects people in many different ways; physically such as fatigue, nausea and pain, emotionally by having an effect on relationships, working life and increasing stress for some people and added financial impact.

Scientists are developing many new therapies to deal with cancer but it is a long way from being fully understood and treated. The true fear with illness and cancer is the unknown. Our exhibition will, by creative expression, explore and suggest new ways in which to understand cancer. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, craft, video and mixed media. Themes investigated consider the beginnings of cancerous growth; diagnosis and biopsy; the invasion of malignant and benign tumours; the fear of pain and disease and how this can prevent early intervention such as having a mammogram; what is it like to live with an illness combined with the prohibitive effect of gaining access to expensive medication and the significant impact upon a personís life, family, friendís and loved ones.

Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease will through artistic visualization contribute toward the greater discussion, led by academic research, for the community to do more to understand cancer; increase the awareness and importance of preventative strategies and improve patient outcomes. The Curatorial Team would like to acknowledge the support of an Art Business Law (ABL) HUB Inter Disciplinary Grant, aimed at exploring the opportunities of combining the visual arts and sciences as a creative tool for academic research.

Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease is presented in partnership with Cancer Council Ė Tasmania as part of the Academy Gallery Active Research Program. The Academy Gallery Active Research Program aims to exhibit the research undertaken by the University of Tasmania as a global educational provider.

Dr Malcom Bywaters Research Project Leader

Item Details

Item Type:Minor Creative Work
Keywords:art, landscape photography, photomedia
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Ruffels, TD (Dr Troy Ruffels)
ID Code:138094
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Art
Deposited On:2020-03-25
Last Modified:2020-03-25

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