the installation

70.000+ /ignore it and it won't go away, herbst Rundgang exhbition curated by maeshelle west-davies, photo: daniel krause / lum.pix

70.000+ /ignore it and it won’t go away, herbst Rundgang exhbition curated by maeshelle west-davies, photo: daniel krause / lum.pix

We can never know what the future will bring. This is true of all things including our health. We can only be proactive and do our best to be our best. Sometimes there are things that are out of our control. This installation is one in a series using donated shoes for Pink Shoe Day. 70,000 women in Germany are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. This is the only cancer that is on the rise. Oncologist Luisa Mantovani Löffler wanted to do something to reverse this by raising awareness. Pink is the signature color for breast cancer in many countries. She wanted to do something to help people conceptualize exactly how many 70,000 is. She also knew that fear is the biggest problem in Germany so she thought of shoes. Everyone has an old pair of shoes lying around. Her idea was to have people paint them pink and send them in with a donation for Hausleben. Hausleben is a center that cares for the whole person and their families. They have many programs to help deal with things traditional medicine can’t. This is working! Women are getting together and painting shoes and talking about breast cancer. It is in their minds and they can start finding out what they can do now to decrease their chances of being part of the 70,000. When I work with the shoes I can feel that they each have stories on lots of levels. These are the shoes of women and those who love them. It is a great honor to do this work. This particular installation includes more than 800 shoes hanging from the ceiling with 7 mattresses beneath them. The mattresses are two-fold. They represent Hausleben and the fact that if you do fall, they are there to make the landing softer. They also invite you to lie under the installation and look at things in a new way; a way without fear. This installation is the central piece 70.000+ /ignore it and it won’t go away. I invited 7 women who had been touched by cancer to participate. I wanted to be sure they understood the importance of what we were doing.

70.000+ herbst Rundgang Installation by artist maeshelle west-davies, photo: daniel krause / lum.pix

70.000+ herbst Rundgang Installation by artist maeshelle west-davies, photo: daniel krause / lum.pix

 

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