Breast cancer survivor Marjut Keski-Korpi posed as an art model for nine artists. Portraits of Ihana Nainen (“lovely woman”) collection of portraits was turned into an exhibition showcasing the beauty that originates beyond a person’s physical attributes – personality, experiences and attitudes.
Changes in one’s body can be confusing and distressing. Many people diagnosed with breast cancer have to go through surgery that leaves a lasting memory of the disease.The human body is still a work of art, beautiful in so many ways, even though mind and body have undergone countless hardships
Students of the Free Art School in Finland discovered the overall beauty of a person by painting Marjut Keski-Korpi – a breast cancer survivor. Marjut had to go through a total mastectomy where her other breast was removed and replaced with an implant.
“Many seem to think that now I have beaten cancer, everything is fine. But there is so much more to it, than just the cancer – changes in self-image and everything it entails,” says Marjut. She voices that it is important to talk about the subject openly: “ I want to show that cancer is not something to be ashamed of. Nobody should hide themselves because of an illness.”
The Ihana Nainen portrait exhibition reflect both the artists’ encounter with Marjut as well as their personal experiences.
“This has been a very interesting project, which deals with the contradictions of life in a beautiful way. Beauty is not a simple construct, it is a multidimensional concept,” describes the principal of the Free Art School Paavo Paunu.
Arla Ihana participates in the Pink Ribbon fundraiser supporting cancer research. In addition to their donation, Arla Ihana wants to help raise awareness on the issue:
“Breast cancer affects one in eight women. The tough experiences do not have to diminish our inner nor outer beauty. Everyone is wonderful just the way they are. That is why we feel that it is important to also support the conversation around the topic,” states Betina Karvinen, Arla Ihana’s Brand & Category Manager.
Watch the touching video of Marjut’s encounter with the artists here.
After the exhibition, the portraits will be auctioned and the proceeds forwarded to cancer research.