The Art of Science: Fashioning Cancer


As a big proponent of showing your inner beauty by wearing your cells and microbes on the outside, I couldn’t help but be excited by this collection of ball gowns inspired by microscopic photos of cancer cells created by Jacqueline Firkins.

Firkins, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, says, “Many women who have battled cancer express a disconnect with the fashion imagery that commonly represents the disease,” such as the ubiquitous pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. Firkins hopes that her collection, titled Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty will encourage discussions about disease, body image and beauty.

The cell patterns on the dresses were inspired by images captured by researchers in the lab of UBC scientist Christian Naus.

“My hope is that somehow through fashion, I more closely tap into what a woman might be feeling about her body as she undergoes the disease, but simultaneously reflect a strength, beauty, and resilience,” says Firkins, who will use the collection to raise money for cancer research, patients and survivors.

A free public presentation and discussion of the Fashioning Cancer collection will take place March 25 at noon at UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre. More information is here.

Photo by Tim Matheson via UBC News

The Art of Science: A Portrait in Cells

Portrait of a Human, 2011
Portrait of a Human 

In 2011, I was starting to plan for an exhibit at the Cafritz Arts Center in Maryland, based around the theme of cells. I knew that I didn’t want to just paint a bunch of various cells – I wanted to use them to express some thoughts about how humans relate to each other. Continue reading “The Art of Science: A Portrait in Cells”

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