Capturing the Remains of Breast Cancer

Written by admin on . Posted in Arts Our Town Downtown.

By Veronica Hoglund

Veronica Hoglund

Veronica Hoglund

As I walked down Mulberry Street toward the Openhouse Gallery in the Lower East Side, I was mesmerized by a photograph visible through the glass exterior of the gallery’s storefront. As I gazed at the image of a woman, bare-chested and marked with a large scar along her breast, I was for a moment paralyzed by its implication—so much so that I did not immediately realize that I had, in fact, arrived at my destination.

The SCAR Project, by fashion photographer David Jay, is a powerful exhibition that documents the experiences of young women who have suffered from breast cancer. The series, which began as a coping mechanism for Jay after discovering a close friend—his girlfriend’s identical twin sister—had been diagnosed with the disease, has now transformed into a five-year project devoted to spreading awareness through raw portrait photographs.

The images, which are as extraordinarily beautiful as they are emotive, each magnificently portray an individual and, more importantly, a human story. Whether as a result of their posture or their gaze, the women in Jay’s photographs seem to reveal their relationship to the disease. After only a few minutes in the gallery space, there is no questioning the honesty that radiates from each picture, an honesty that is anything but artificial.

For more details on The SCAR Project, visit

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  • jessica

    Hi…thnak you for featuring David’s work and the women he has worked with, recently we lost another sista to this cruel illness….and he loss is felt across the world, jolene spoke to all and made friends across the world who are now helping to support mamma bear, joelen’s mamma, who is equally an amazing woman, who has lost her daughter, and no one can begin to imagine the pain felt when a parent looses thier child.
    I am BRCA 1 & 2 which means i am now on a journey in the UK to have major prohylactic preventative surgery and i am having a double mastectomy with total reconstruction and an oopherectomy to remove my ovaries, all to prevent cancer coming in my direction.
    I first came across davivd’s work through a support group and then i saw Jolene and something struck a chourd with me and i contacted her and david, both took the time out of thier busy lives to spare me the time of day to connect.
    Jolene and i talked on facebook, and he never once complained about how her journey was going, she was so very very humble when i thanked her for bearing her soul with david to help people like me come to terms with what my body may look like after the surgery, we are so used to seeing beautiful women with breasts and nipples, and when you take that part of your identity away, you cannot begin to imagine what it will look likelet alone feel like.
    I am one of the lucky ones, i do not have cancer so my treatment should be fairly stright forward…the mind trip you are on from the moment you are told what the BRCA gene means to you and your risk level’s are your world does a 360……jolee spoke to me from the heart and to fight this like a girl….and be there for my children, she was one of the strongest women i have ever talked to and i talk to her mamma now and she amazes me totaly…the love and loss are felt by all for her, we all miss jolenes messages and updates…..and awlays will.

    David is fantastic, he has taken a taboo subject and said, look at how strong these women are and how stunningly beautiful they are and how they come together to help others…..long may he continue to photograpgh like this and make these sista’s feel special…for they truly are…..
    my friends have surgery following breast cancer and have shown me thier scars…..they feel like women again and carry on with a new perspective on life….thier goal as is mine, to help others who face either cancer, or BRCA….the more the word is spread the more we can help.
    Im the uk we dont have as much, i am wirtting a book about my journey for my children to understand and to help other’s like me, it is a mine field oncee you get thrown on a new road…and all you can do is continue…but if i can help just one person, to aks the right questions, to talk to online at 3 in the morning because their world is falling apart and they are as scared…then it will all be worth it.

    Thank you once more,
    Much love & sunshine from the uk
    Jessica Holligan….aka Tiggs! ;) xx

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