Friday, October 04, 2013

Review of the Fun With Cancer Exhibition at MAC Birmingham

Hey guys, this is a one-time review of an exhibition I recently attended. It's for my Silver Arts Award, where you have to go to, review and share arts events, so this is mine. 

The “Fun With Cancer” exhibition at MAC Birmingham is an exhibition created by young cancer patients to both let our their own feelings about cancer and let people know what happens, how they feel about it and ultimately, have fun with their own illnesses.
Because the exhibition isn’t in a room, it’s down a corridor, the first thing that really hits you are the videos, which are constantly playing. If you were just walking down the corridor as opposed to looking around it, you would definitely notice the videos. As you walk round, the visual images are the most interesting things, and the pieces of writing that accompany them are beautifully written, too. 

Once you’ve seen how these young people feel with their illness, and how they deal with it, you can really begin to understand how they feel and why that is. The creative impact of this exhibition is mainly that; the empathy, not sympathy, that you can feel for these young people. 

Even though the exhibition isn’t made up of beautiful artwork or particular photographs, the emotions and insight into how cancer feels is intriguing, thought-provoking and makes the exhibition really interesting to look at.     
The thing I liked the most was probably the wall of cartoons with slogans, such as one with a grim reaper thinking about a dog, saying “even death thinks about puppies”. I thought this gave a lighter feel to the illness. I also liked the concept of “cancer friends”. They gave each cancer patient and a friend £100 to go out and spend, doing whatever they wanted and having fun, before coming back with a full role of disposable film and a definition on what a cancer friend was. I don’t think there were any particularly negative parts of the exhibition, though some things could have more photos or information. 

So, overall, this exhibition was an interesting insight to cancer and how it affects people, whilst showing how they had fun with it. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who either wants to learn more about cancer or just has a general interest in the subject. Even if you don’t, it’s a fun thing to see and learn more about. 

 Charli x


  1. I wouldn't have any idea what a cancer exhibition would be, and from your description it defies any expectations I would've had. Thank you! That was informative and gave me an understanding I didn't have before!

  2. From your review I really want to go and see it but it's sooo far! What an excellent post, Charli! :)

    1. Thank you, Amber! I wish you could :) The MAC in general is awesome x

  3. I was intrigued by the title of this piece so had a look. My Mum recently came through Cancer and going with her to appointments and radiotherapy the one thing that struck me about the way she and the other cancer patients dealt with it was that no one sat there in self pity, they had courage and determination and approached all the procedures with a great sense of humour. Cancer is a bitch but if you let it get you down then its won and i love the idea of this exhibition that is basically putting up two fingers to this disease. A great review Charli

  4. This sounds like a really good exhibit; if only it was closer! I also think the idea of you having to go to arts events for school is awesome- I wish I had had this at my school :-)

    1. It was awesome! This time is was my Silver which I've done outside of school but when we did Bronze at school we got to go to events and it was awesome!! :D


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