“And you were there . . .”


And You Were There . . . (Photo by Tim Cooley)

And You Were There . . . (Photo by Tim Cooley)

And you were there, and you were there, and you, and you, and you . . .

Mixed media on canvas, 5’ x 7’


During cancer diagnosis and treatment I kept a series of carefully dated journals beginning with the pre-op lab work at Brattleboro Hospital. The smile on that woman’s face as she said, “You are one of the ones who are going to be alright– I can tell” gave me a sense of having a part in the healing work: photographing, sketching, recording, and asking others to help me take photos. My hands had something to do, and my mind had something to help mediate the fear. The journal maintenance was also akin to that of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs so I could find my way back through the fog, and therefore helped me to hold and process my experience. There was also the realization that heretofore I had kept better records on my car than on my own body. This became the beginning of keeping careful health records, not only for me, but also so my daughters will have the information I hope they will never need. I became one of the subjects in the clinical trial. The camera became a way to realize the humanity and depth of the patient care. The relationships that evolved became as important and sustaining as the medical care.

The canvas underneath these faces was rescued by Betsy Browning and given to me. Betsy was the person who first diagnosed my cancer during an in-office breast exam.



And You Were There and You and You

And You Were There and You and You

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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

Elm Street Market, Bennington

Spiral Press Cafe, Manchester, Vermont (2013) details TBA

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