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The art of life adapting: drawing and healing.

Fremantle, Chris



If more people are living with long term conditions, e.g. cancer, how can we think about the adaptations involved? Are there lessons from adaptation in environment policy and practice, e.g. in the writings of Wendell Berry (b. 1934) on scarred landscapes, and in the conceptualisation of ‘the Force Majeure’ articulated by Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b.1932)? The author, a practice-led researcher and cultural producer, draws on his experience of cancer treatment and his use of art as a way to make hidden features visible. He relates this to the larger intersubjective and social questions of cancer as an overwhelming force affecting society. Approaches in art, including improvisation, are relevant to adaptation, a process that is necessary for living with cancer.


FREMANTLE, C. 2020. The art of life adapting: drawing and healing. Leonardo [online], 53(1), pages 83-84. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2019
Publication Date Feb 29, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2019
Journal Leonardo
Print ISSN 0024-094X
Electronic ISSN 1530-9282
Publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
Pages 83-84
Keywords Art; Visual arts; Healing; Cancer; Patient; Disease; Living with cancer
Public URL


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