KOCHI: As World Cancer Day approaches on Feb 4, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is hosting an exhibition of paintings by cancer patients and survivors in tie up with cancer support charity, Canserve.
The seven-day exhibition at Fort Kochi’s Cochin Club, which features works by about 25 young and old cancer survivors, was inaugurated today by film director Major Ravi. He said meeting cancer patients was a humbling and elevating experience, and one is forced to put aside one’s anger, pride and greed.
“I used to visit hospital patients with my son on his birthday every year,” said the former Armyman. “I think it has served to make him an empathetic human being. I offer a pat on the back and a hand of support to anyone who works to spread happiness among cancer patients.”
A number of pictures at the exhibition are works children treated at the oncology ward of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Ernakulam.
“Some of the patients, and particularly the parents, who come to our oncology ward are very fearful, so while the children are waiting for their radiation therapy, we get them to draw and paint,” said Dr M Dinesh.
Some of the paintings convey these fears, but hearteningly, most are bright depictions. Sara Mammen, a cancer survivor and one of the artists displayed, is thrilled that she has received this opportunity under the biennale banner.
“Cancer makes you aware of your mortality, and then you feel that you want to do things without wasting any more time,” said the 74-year-old. “My early pictures are themed around fear, but my later ones are not.”
Biennale director of programmes Riyas Komu said it was heart warming to see art was being used to heal.