INTRODUCTION BY TEE A. CORINNE

COLORED PICTURES, from the series "Cancer In Our Lives"
© copyright 2005 by Tee A. Corinne

In February 2003, my lover of fourteen years was diagnosed with metastasized colon cancer. The surgeon said she'd be dead in a year and a half. As an artist, I needed something more immediate than the black and white darkroom practices I have used since the 1960s. So, early in the second year of our shared life with her cancer, I learned to use a digital camera, then Adobe Photoshop and new ways to process and print photographs. This altered way of working introduced drama and emotional coloration.

Often my world seemed like it was spinning out of control. Both of us experienced nausea, although for different reasons. Her body had been reconfigured by science. Without modern medicine, she would be dead. We passed the year-and-a-half mark. She went onto Hospice care, but didn't die in the fall, as her oncologist had expected. Now, it is winter.

The social worker says that she may go from seeming to be healthy to being too ill to drive or take care of herself in a period of six hours. Any six hours. We don't know when. She may then die within a few days to a few weeks. This scenario is expected to take place sometime within the next six months. Tumors in her liver. Expectations of cataclysmic change.

Problems keep developing from unexpected directions: anger, resentment, issues of abandonment, betrayal. Working together, we have begun to push the polite boundaries of portraiture.

These images we are making are collaborative. It does not matter which of us is behind the camera or if we use a self-timer. They are shaped by who we are, how we are responding to these constantly changing realities, and who we have been individually and together over the past sixteen years. The text and arrangement of the photographs are, for the most part, mine.

In my creative life, I have longed for this kind of partnering. I am so lucky to have been with her this long.

January 25, 2005

D1_0516n6n E1_2162b E3_0456ccr F1_0455d
F2_0511dd F3_0514e F6_0515a G10_0527d
G12_1556e G2_1381d G6_0525b G8_0531h
H2-0513b H4_0864e H5_1419d H6_1414f
H8_0956c J0_1461c J10_1602e J11_0008d
J12_1059c J3_0587e J4_1534bb J6_0582g
J8_0710b J9_0579bb K1_2422bb K6_5181c
L3_3285c L4_1047f