Brianna Price – White Out

Exhibition on until Sunday Feb 4th (gallery closed Mon & Tues)

“It all started on a trip to Castlemaine from Carisbrook when I had my first seizure.

There was only one other passenger on the bus and she alerted the driver that I was behaving strangely with froth coming out of my mouth. The ambulance took 20 minutes to get there.

The night before the operation in Melbourne my partner and I were told that hotel- like accommodation was available if you were from the country. It turned out it was a house that was full of grief. Mothers visiting their sick children with long stays in hospital or terminal illnesses. The bins were full of McDonald’s wrapper, it was just a drop-off point to store some luggage and sleep for a couple of hours. We decided to stay at my mother’s a long way across town.

Pre-surgery was endless, trying to entertain everybody. I felt fatalistic but presented a heightened brightness. My visitors were only allowed in threes but there were four of them, my mother refused to budge. I wished they would all go away so I could suffer in peace.

The frontal lobe Astrocytoma required precision to line up and guide the radiotherapy onto the surface of the cast. They moulded my face with hot pliable plastic. The experience was the most claustrophobic of my life. When it hardened up they made holes for my eyes and mouth, at my request. Every day for eight weeks this was radiotherapy being sandwiched between a foam cast for my skull and torso and a cast/mask for my head.

In the middle of the hottest summer ever, the relationship broke down, I don’t know why. Soon after at a cancer beauty workshop held at the hospital, I was trying on different wigs. Surprisingly they transformed me by changing the framing of my face, disquieted me internally about who I was. In reality my identity was so fragile it barely existed.

This flux was my inspiration for these images.”

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