What happens to skin exposed to the sun
In a country such as the Netherlands, with a temperate maritime climate where rain falls all year round, people crave and relish in fleeting warm days and the rare ap. One spark of sunlight, even when spring has not sprung yet, and everyone is outside to enjoy it the most they can. Suddenly people are found at the beach, sunbathing in the park and all terraces are full.
However, being exposed to sun full days is getting more harmful with the thinning of the ozone layer. The ozone layer could be seen as a sponge, it absorbs bits of radiation hitting Earth from the sun. Even though we need some of the sun's radiation to live, too much of it can damage living things. The ozone layer acts as a shield for life on Earth. The thinning of the ozone layer increases the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that reaches the Earth’s surface. UVR is divided into UVA, UVB, and UVC. Although there are higher levels of UVA radiation, it is the higher-energy of UVB that is mostly likely to be absorbed by DNA, and therefore most likely to cause skin conditions like sunburns, and cancer formation in the skin. Therefore, any small decrease of the ozone layer has significant effects on your health.
Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Skin cancer, the abnormal growth of skin cells, most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. There are many types of skin cancer, each of which can look different on the skin.
So, whenever you are an inhabitant of the Netherlands like me, longing during autumn and winter for the warm and sunny days to come, skin cancer is not the first thing that comes to mind. The same counts for the photo project Carcinoma of Naomi Jansen, since the series contains images of unexpected color combinations and others where tones are closer together in a color family, skin cancer will not be the first link to make. However, this photo project is made to visualize the formation of skin cancer and this is done in an artistic and aesthetically pleasing way.
She explores the process of how the sun, an important aspect of life on earth, can cause skin cancer slowly and undisturbed. Carcinoma shows that skin cancer exists, by visualizing an invisible process. Through a photographic translation into shapes and colors that shows the growth of image and the rapid increase of skin cancer, the viewer becomes acquainted with this skin disease. In the photo project Carcinoma, Naomi Jansen applied microsurgical methods into an artistic technique making it possible to treat other surfaces and materials as skin. Here, natural processes as rust, oxidation and fungi mimic the process of cancer formation. This results in close-up images with different layers, shapes, colors and patterns.
About the artist:
Naomi Jansen is a visual artist based in the Netherlands. In 2019 she graduated at the Willem de Kooning Academy. In her work, Naomi transforms rather negative associations of illnesses into easy to understand visual representations. She uses both photography and installations to unravel themes such as skin cancer, migraine, tinnitus and rhinitis. These works are created in collaboration with individuals dealing with health issues.
Check out the photographer's full body of work at http://www.naomijansen-photography.com/index.html and @iamnaomijansen at instagram.
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Written by Noura Oul Fakir