I have been living with metastatic breast cancer for 2 years, and recently found out that my medication had stopped working and I needed to start a new drug. I am currently participating in an immunotherapy clinical trial at the University of Chicago.
When I started sculpting this piece, I was imagining cancer to be the monster who is holding me captive. As I got further into the process, I realized that the monster can also be seen to represent fear and despair—both of which can hold me captive (if I am not careful), by preventing me from living in the present.
If you look closely, you can see a small knife inside the cage with me. It may seem inadequate for the task, but I see the knife as a reminder that I can take steps to be the master of my own life, despite the large beast looming over me.
I create my artwork from polymer clay and mixed media. Sculpting is a source of joy to me, and I try to schedule some time in my studio every day. My work tends to be bright and whimsical, so this sculpture was a real departure from my usual style, but I felt a need to express my feelings with my art.