Marcia Reid Marsted, "My Third Eye", 1997, Infrared Gelatin Silver.

Marcia Reid Marsted, “My Third Eye”, 1997, Infrared Gelatin Silver.

Marcia Reid Marsted

First I am a photographer, periodically I am a cancer patient. My artistic focus took an unexpected turn when I discovered that I had developed a second primary cancer, after ten cancer-free years. I created a somewhat haphazard photographic diary to document the changes in my hair that I knew would occur as I dealt with surgery, a cancer diagnosis, and the chemotherapy that would be necessary post operatively.

My hair was an important issue this time. Hair, or lack of it, is often the most obvious and outward sign of cancer treatment. I started to keep a journal, but photographs were the way I wanted to remember what was happening.

Most of the images in this series were shot with infrared film. Infrared film produces an otherworldly look that was appropriate for me and my response to undergoing chemotherapy. You may or may not feel good, but you don’t look or feel quite like yourself.

If seeing me bald can be helpful, to someone worried about this unknown and frightening series of events, I am willing to expose myself.

Marcia Reid Marsted lives in Canton, Connecticut. She has had solo shows at the Gallery on the Green in Canton, CT; The French Library and Cultural Center in Boston, MA; and Artworks Gallery in Hartford, CT. In 2001 she became the recipient of the Grover Fellowship for Photography from the Great Hartford Arts Council. Her pictures are in the Bibliotheque Nationale Collection and the Sol Lewitt Collection. She has studied photography with Joyce Tenneson and Jane Tuckerman, among others.