Lancaster youngster features in new thought provoking exhibition

on Friday, 13 February 2015.

A young CancerCare client features in a new thought provoking photographic exhibition entitled ‘What is Left?'

'What is Left' features a series of photographs exhibited throughout a small empty cottage at 1 Thurnham Mews in Lancaster city centre and depicts local people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds each holding a meaningful object inherited from a lost loved one.

Jennifer 4Exhibitors spent a year working with local community groups and charities - including CancerCare - finding suitable individuals and families willing to share their memories and experiences.

Jennifer Kelsall-Hurst aged 12 from Lancaster is photographed holding a soft toy panda which belonged to her late mother who sadly died when Jennifer was just 14 months old.

Excerpt from Jennifer's interview: "Well I use it if I’m ever upset about anything cos it like comforts me. It’s like my Mum’s, like, instead of giving the panda a hug, it’s like she’s hugging me. It’s like really like, a really nice warm feeling."

Jennifer previously accessed professional counselling through CancerCare’s dedicated Children & Young People's Service to help her work through her grief and deal with the impact of her loss. CancerCare provide free support services to local people of all ages affected by cancer or other life limiting illness.

With two specially equipped rooms at their centres in Lancaster and Kendal,  CancerCare’s team of highly qualified Children & Young People's Therapists work with children as young as three years old to explore their feelings about serious illness and the impact of death in a safe, confidential space.

Head of Client Services and Children & Young People's Therapist Emma Jan says;

“It is an honour to have been involved in this exciting project and to see Jennifer’s story featured as part of the exhibition has been incredibly moving. Jennifer’s portrait and audio is very powerful. She talks naturally and lovingly about her mum. It’s so important for young people to be able to express their feelings about grief and loss.”

The exhibition is the result of collaboration between Leeds-based performance artist Ellie Harrison and London-based photographer Roshana Rubin-Mayhew, who visited each participant at home to capture their stories in their own surroundings. The pictures are brought to life by an audio interview with each individual and a specially designed transcript booklet of their story and is accompanied by a bespoke ‘viewing’ chair, chosen by the artists to reflect the environment where the portrait was taken.

‘What is Left’ in Lancaster is sponsored by and delivered in partnership with Lancaster Property Management Network, Live at LICA, Lancaster University and Lancashire County Council. ‘What is Left’ opens in Lancaster before touring to Barnsley and Portland, ending its run in Stockton on 31st October. The 2014 tour is produced by The Performing Office and co-commissioned by The Civic, Barnsley; Live at LICA, Lancaster University; ARC Stockton and b-side festival, Portland and supported by Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and East Street Arts.

For times and further details on the free Lancaster exhibition call the Live at LICA box office on 01524 594151 or visit www.liveatlica.org For more information on the ‘What is Left’ tour and the wider ‘Grief Series’ visit www.griefseries.co.uk.

For more information about CancerCare and our Children & Young People's Service call us on 01524 381 820 or click here. You can follow CancerCare on Twitter @CancerCareLocal or Facebook at ‘CancerCareCharity’.