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In June 2010 a good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. This sensitive and challenging photographic project is in response to her story. My aim is to try and express thoughts and emotions through a combination of text and the Derbyshire landscape.

Work in progress...

May 30, 2012 by Valerie Dalling   Comments (0)

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...a Belper girl, that's a good starting point. So I took my camera for a walk concentrating in the area in which she grew up, but I had very little success. What was I hoping to achieve?

I referred back to my little pink book and for one reason or another, three things seemed to be continually jumping out at me.

Place 

I have a list of places all of which are important to her, but these have no real meaning to me. What if we were to select one from that list and visit together? 

Faith

While it may raise questions for others in similar circumstances, my friend has drawn comfort and support through her strong religious beliefs, although she does admit her prayers have usually been for others rather than herself. In what way can my work reflect this?

Words

As a form of personal therapy, my friend had been writing some wonderful poetry during her treatment. I was surprised, I didn't know. How do I decide on the text now? 

Where do I go from here?

As you know, my original idea was to combine text with photographs of the Derbyshire landscape. I had always wanted this project to have a real positive feel to it, but the more I listened to my friend, the more my thoughts about this changed. I was confused but gradually everything started to become very much clearer to me.

The work should be as true a reflection of her feelings, not mine. This was important, the illness is real, it's happening to her...