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Friday, February 20, 2015

In pictures: 'What multiple sclerosis means to me'




A woman naked holding cranberries down her back

Three young artists convey their experiences of multiple sclerosis in the hope of helping others with their diagnoses.

To find something good out of something bad was the brief given to three young people. They all have multiple sclerosis (MS) and have been creating artistic works that examine how it has affected them in positive ways.

The final pieces - a combination of portraits, photographs and jewelery - are part of a project being run by multiple sclerosis charity Shift MS.

They show, they say, that "no two people have the same experience of MS".

Perceiving identity
Photographer Hannah Laycock is 32 and works in London. She was diagnosed with MS in 2013 after showing symptoms since February of the same year. Her initial fear was that she had motor neurone disease, which her father has had since 2009. Instead it was confirmed that she had MS.

A woman in the forest, her face is completely covered by mist

"I see my experience of the diagnosis as serendipitist in some ways," she says. "I'm fortunate enough not to have MND, and fortunate enough to have learnt a lot from my dad and his diagnosis, which has given me strength of mind, body and soul."
Laycock initially experienced a creative lull after her diagnosis, but says this particular project has inspired her to do some self-reflection and return to artistic work.
Her pieces are a photographic journey exploring her feelings of uncertainty, fear, loss and liberation.
"Neurology's favourite word is 'deficit'," she says. "Loss of speech, loss of language, loss of memory, loss of vision, loss of dexterity, loss of identity."
In her collection she aims to question the notion of this neurological "loss".


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