Reconstructing Ourselves


Reconstructing Ourselves was a project in partnership with staff and patients at the Welsh centre for burns and plastic surgery, in collaboration with medical anthropologist, Sarah Wright and digital story teller, Prue Thimbleby.

Artworks produced include a collection of documentary photographs and auto-biographical books exploring the relationship between women’s clothing choices and their lived experiences of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Here clothing was used as a tool to communicate the personal stories of women undergoing complex breast reconstructive surgery. 

Six women were photographed in a series of outfits from their wardrobes that signified key stages in their treatment and recovery. Documenting and understanding the factors that inform personal clothing choice for women during medical interventions for cancer has built a picture of the complexity and impact that this disease has upon women’s lives - including dramatic changes to the body, to mental health, to relationships and careers. 

Featured on The Listening Project - BBC Radio 4 . This project was funded by Arts Council Wales.

Photographs by Amy Shorter