Social Media: @lauratmakar
“From Cancer, She Grew”
Hand-cut paper, watercolor, pastel, colored pencil, goldleaf; Poem by Michelle Lawrence
Artist Statement: Michelle, a rose that grew from concrete.
Through strength, determination, and courage, Michelle has battled chronic terminal leukemia for the past 14 years. Her story is not complete. As an advocate, Michelle uses her testimony to help those who do not have resources and assistance with their insurance or unmet health needs. She embraces her cancer, working with it to continue her journey, speaking out and challenge, but also love. She chooses to live life, rather than just being a patient/survivor of cancer.
This artwork is in dedication to her beauty, but also the hardships that she has faced over the past 14 years. Through constant blood tests, chemotherapy, various treatments, and medical care, Michelle’s story is much like the symbolism of the paisley design. The floral abstract symbol of a cypress tree encourages life and eternity, but also strength, resistance, and modesty. The flowers represent glamour and beauty, and the teardrop shapes represent fire or water. The design also references the sun and a phoenix. The pattern is considered a “robe of honor,” articulating all essences of Michelle’s perseverance and loving personality. She is a fighter. Never giving up, a rose that grew from concrete.
I am inspired by her accomplishments. I have learned much about her and what it means to struggle and battle an uncurable cancer. Michelle has gone through a difficult transition, but has not been afraid to share and be vulnerable. Cancer has taken a lot from her, but she has created a positive story. This artwork celebrates Michelle and is dedicated to her journey, the good times and the bad. Michelle has reminded me, “there is only one way to learn… it’s through action. Everything you need to know you have [to learn] through your journey.” “Don't give in to your fears... If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)