Alice Wasney and Elena Marcozzi
“Life Persists”
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The Story
Alice Wasney
Park Forest, IL
Breast Cancer Survivor
Twist on Cancer: I still have times when I feel that my experience is not worth talking about because there are so many others who have gone through much harder times. I tried to "positive" my way through all of it, constantly telling my family how good things looked, that the prognosis was great, that my doctors were giving me high survival numbers. What I didn't tell them was that it was still scary, that I still needed help, and that sometimes, it was hard to carry it. I'm learning to ask for help. I'm learning that even this "mild" situation is a disruption in my life and that it's okay for me to let people see my sadness and fear when that's how I feel. Mostly, I've come through with minimal trouble but it's a firsthand lesson in how vulnerable people can be, even when they don't let it show. I'm also learning that the situation doesn't have to be dire or constantly horrible for one to ask for help or for people to be willing to give help.

I'm working on letting walls down, and this diagnosis and treatment have been part of that.
It's all a process.
Elena Marcozzi
Detroit, MI
Social Media: @elena.marcozzi
“Life Persists”
Wool Felt, Yarn, Embroidery, Beads
18” x 22”
Artist Statement: My Inspiration is Alice, a well-spoken and kind person who cares deeply for her family and community. She also has lovely hobbies such as knitting and reading. These are all aspects of her life that I wanted to incorporate into this fiber piece, which is made from a laborious process called wet felting. The wool fibers are agitated, with hot, soapy water and increased friction through rolling, creating a sturdy felt. The elusive wisps of wool are complimented by textual elements of knitted yarn and embroidery. This is a strange fantastical setting in which a dark castle looms in the background wreaking havoc on the land by spreading infectious spiked orbs, meant to resemble microscopic cancer cells. A majestic orange bird soars high above fighting against the orbs, using its magical wings to transforming the cells into flowers. The phoenix is a widely known symbol for the circle of life, in death and rebirth. In this instance, it conveys human resilience in face of the tribulations of cancer, an inner struggle with your body and mind. I wanted to create a world to pay homage to Alice’s character, her experiences, and the things she loves.