Cancer Research Group


Christine Douglass and Nina Mangalanayagam

14 July 2015

Christine Douglass

In the Forum gallery, What if? by Christine Douglass presents nine films by nine women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Each was given a video camera and invited to film whatever was important to them, producing a discrete visual representation of their life. All participants were also invited to contribute to the editing process. The exhibition is designed to facilitate an ethical, intimate encounter with the films, contesting fixed readings of and generalised assumptions about breast cancer.

The work is underpinned by an interdisciplinary study that challenges established ways of researching and presenting experiences of illness. Questioning the validity of representing others, it seeks to privilege and acknowledge those with experience of breast cancer as authoritative knowledge producers. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, affecting one in eight women, and has become a conspicuous disease within society, but a lot of knowledge of the complexities of individual experience goes unseen and unsaid – concealed by homogeneous representational practices.

In the Project Space, the three installations in Nina Mangalanayagam’s exhibition each employ a different mode of inquiry to address the theme of hybridity. The works in Living with Contradictions take an autobiographical view to examine the artist’s own intentions and position when representing herself and others, and the complexities of living with mixed heritage in the post-colonial West. By exploring how the concept of hybridity undermines binary notions of identity, Mangalanayagam’s research investigates ways of subverting visual stereotypes of otherness, with the exhibition offering a space in which to contemplate shifting positions of identities.

Open 9am–5pm daily*

Free admission, open to all

*Please note the following closures due to Viva examinations in the galleries:

  • 'What If?' at London Gallery West - Tuesday 30 June
  • 'Living with Contradictions' in the LGW Project Space - Friday 3 July

Private View

Thursday 25 June 2015, 5–8pm

Gallery Talk

Wednesday 1 July, 2–3pm

Dr Emma Pennery CBE, Clinical Director of Breast Cancer Care, in discussion with the What If? project participants about issues raised by the film-making process.

Joint Artists' Talk
Tuesday 7 July, 1–2pm
A walk-through of the exhibitions with the two artists.

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

For the media

For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.