Megan Mare Sixty-five Roses: Reveal and Conceal, 2’x4’ Painting.

My name is Megan Mare. I am a 3rd year student, who has Cystic Fibrosis, a disease in the lungs that impairs your breathing, often times in severe cases, affects the digestive system, reproductive system, and pancreas. I am fortunate to have a mild case of the disease, and have been living with it all my life.  It has inspired some of my artwork here at OCADU.

The work titled, Sixty-five roses – Reveal and Conceal is mixed media oil, acrylic medium, and decal print on canvas.  It was made for a Metaphor and Exploration class that I really enjoyed.  The piece demonstrates how the body can hide or reveal certain weakness or strengths in an individual, myself being the subject, I chose to represent how my body reveals that I look healthy but conceals my sickness. I show no visible signs of having CF, the affects are internal.  On the left side I look hopeful, hands in a fist, representing strength, showing my body as is, on the right side it reveals hope, through my hand gesture and facial expression, accompanied by an image of an x-ray of my lungs, showing mucus inflammation caused by CF. Beneath the decal images of myself, is visible writing, describing the story how me and my oldest sister were diagnosed. Though not very legible, it is there for personal relief. Roses represent something I have eternalized all my life: Roses, for Cystic Fibrosis… The slogan for the foundation for many years. It is something my sister and I used to refer to when we couldn’t pronounce Cystic Fibrosis at a young age. “Sixty Five roses For Cystic Fibrosis” Was the CF foundations slogan for many years, and has inspired hope in our lives. I find that in many of my works, rose imagery finds its way in. This is how I Disrupt and Undo the constructs of a disability that is said to one day take my life, through art.

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Sixty-five roses surround this picture plane, with beauty in numbers… sixty-five roses to represent the beauty behind a disease that could be rather ugly. Two images of a young woman are embedded in the rough canvas. She is surrounded by painted roses in apple reds and snow whites; projecting beauty, hope and a feeling of melancholy. In the first image this young woman makes eye contact with the viewer, almost smiling. She looks hopeful and content. The light illuminates the right side of her body, bearing her self as is. Her hands are across her chest and she makes contact with her viewer.

Her left hand clutched in a fist, the other – fingers crossed. This represents strength and hope she finds within herself. Across a row of roses, another image of the young woman is projected. Her hands collapsed at her side, her chest exposed, only to illuminate another aspect of her self, the aspect of the self that is hidden.The portion of herself that conceals her silent fight is invisible to the world. An x-ray of her lungs exposes congestion and scar tissue, revealing a major aspect of a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. Hope is lost in her expression. As she shies away her eyes, a feeling of uncertainty derives. Beneath the images of the young woman we see writing emerging from the photographs… hand writing telling a tale of how she was diagnosed: how her body reveals she is healthy but conceals that she is sick, and how though for now she is healthy, the future is uncertain. Though the writing is not legible, it adds a personal touch to the story expressed within the sixty-five roses… Living with Cystic Fibrosis.

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