Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Artist Heal Thyself" In The St. Albert Gazette, Story By Scott Hayes -"Healing Process" News Paper Story

F-ck, seems I missed out on the interview and missed out on getting a picture of dad in the gazette from the show. I have to make more of effort to get high end digital scans to the galleries that exhibit my work. Pictures for promotional purposes are important. A valuable learning experience for me. Damn! This was published yesterday, missed it by a day. Damn, damn, damn. I f-cked up!

I have not read my section of the article that was printed, it always makes me uncomfortable to read about myself. The subject I photograph is all that matters to me, not Gerry Yaum.  That is why I made up that fake YAUM name in the first place, to stay more distant. It is the subject not me that matters.

Here is a link to the story and the story itself:


Artist, heal thyself
AGSA offers insight into artists' ways of dealing with disease and death
Wednesday, Aug 02, 2017 06:00 am
Everybody says that being artistically creative has health benefits. It can help people to heal from psychological traumas, or at least deal with trauma’s lingering effects.
The Art Gallery of St. Albert invites us to look inside Healing Process, its new exhibit where three artists are sharing the results of their own healing creations.
“The day I found out my father had pancreatic cancer, his life, my life and my family’s lives’ changed forever. A terrible loss was coming, the clock had started ticking. We would all never be the same. I spent the next 13 months photographing Dad, telling his story and mine,” writes social documentary photographer Gerry Yaum.
His photo series called My Father's Last Days is one of the key ingredients of the show. These black and white portraits show the man in a hospital bed, with nasal tubes and other pieces of medical apparatus showing, his face sometimes stretched into a yawn of apparent pain. Other times, he has a kind of lost, tormented look on his drawn face as though he was in a war camp, struggling to survive while losing his humanity at the same time.
Through his camera, Yaum is working to not only demonstrate the suffering that often comes with the end of a life through disease but also working to understand that pain. The photographs stand as a permanent tribute even though his father passed more than two years ago. They show how he tried to reach in to his father’s world. It’s a provocative and intimate thing to share but so incredible to bear witness to.
“I believe that the greatest achievement I can attain as an artist is to educate, inform and provoke discussion through my work,” he writes on his website at “My job as an artist is create work that shows the shared connection, the shared humanity all human beings have…”
Joining Yaum in the exhibit are British Columbia-based artist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin and University of Alberta printmaking grad Darian Goldin Stahl. Shefrin offers the Embroidered Cancer Comic, the artist’s own interpretation of the cancer journey after her husband’s diagnosis.
“When we learned that Bob had prostate cancer, and not the slow growing kind, we started making cancer jokes. Every time something made us laugh, one of us would say, ‘That goes in the comic’,” she writes on her website at
Stahl completes the show with her installation work called MRI IN USE featuring a series of life-sized photographic prints of standard hospital gowns with the text of medical scans projected onto them. They are the result of the artist working with her sister who has multiple sclerosis. The gowns are suggestive of the procedures that she must undergo in her examinations, leaving the viewers with that distinctive notion of losing one’s identity as one’s health falters.
The works not only brought the sisters closer together but also offer the public the fleeting chance to vicariously experience the medical system, giving all the moment to reflect on our precious and precarious mortality.
“Ultimately, the viewers themselves become a part of piece, as their bodies catch the projection, cast shadows over the swaying prints, and act as the human proxy missing from the empty, floating gowns. The interaction between the installation and attendees evokes questions of authority, tacit participation, and interconnectedness,” she explained.
“I aim for viewers to identify with this figure, and come to find that we all carry anxiety about the functionality of our bodies. While this work is specifically about my sister’s anticipation of impairment, disability is a future most people will face if they live into old age. Therefore knowing and understanding people with different bodies and abilities and adds insight, dimension, and value to the human condition. When audiences see my work, even though they do not know my sister, they feel her and are filled with a shared, connecting reflection over the state of our ever-changing bodies.”