‘My ultimate bucket list’: Terminal cancer patient’s art on display at major gallery for first time in Winnipeg

A woman living with terminal cancer has her first major art show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Teva Harrison was 37 when she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. At the time she was working in marketing, training for a marathon and thinking about having a baby.

“I didn’t know a way forward. I was so depressed and so scared and angry. I didn’t know if I’d still be here in a year,” said Harrison.

Harrison turned her pain into drawings, documenting changes in her body, her marriage and her outlook. She’s now 41.

“What was happening medically, emotionally, in my own family and society enabled me to find a way back to myself,” said Harrison who lives in Toronto.

Her drawings became, ‘In-Between Days: A Memoir about Living with Cancer’, a graphic memoir.

Art cancer

Starting Nov. 11, it’s also an exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It’s the first time Harrison’s work has been displayed at a major gallery.

“In-Between Days is a powerful memoir and a moving depiction of living life with cancer. Teva Harrison is to be commended for her honesty, humour, and never-ending search for hope. Finding and experiencing hope is our wish for those who visit the exhibition,” said director and CEO of the WAG, Stephen Borys in a release.

The collection is also inspiring others, like Laurie Depape who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 51. Harrison’s drawings helped give her strength when she was sick.

“Her words were my words. What was in her heart, her fears, her hopes, her dreams, her anger, her depression, her love of life, is what I had,” she said.

Harrison wants the drawings to spark conversation, and help give people living with cancer, mental illness, or any difficulties hope.

“It would have been a dream to see one piece of my art hanging at an amazing institution like the WAG, but to have an entire exhibit is the dream,” she said.

“I’m happier when I’m making a thing, and it makes living with cancer infinitely better,” Harrison said.

The exhibition runs at the WAG until Jan. 13.

Art cancer

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