The Healing Studio

Each year The Healing Studio Exhibition highlights an artist’s journey with cancer.

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Standing Like a Tree

Two Moms, Two Cancers, One Family

Photography and Sculpture by Thea Breite
June 20th - September 7th 2019


In January 2017, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Three months later, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As a wife and mother of three children, the effects were devastating, sending our family on an emotional roller coaster we never imagined possible. 

During my treatment, I began taking walks in my neighborhood with my camera. I found myself photographing trees --their shapes, textures, scars, even fungi. I realized that the images of the trees reflected the story I am living. I saw scars in the bark that looked like my scars, I saw fear and anger like my own. I felt from them the kind of strength I needed -- their resilience, rootedness, flexibility. I even recognized their humor. 

I continue to photograph as the journey continues. Dirty old bits of fallen wood, sticks and roots also grab my attention. I clean them up and work with them to reveal colors, lines, textures and movement. Creating new forms from the wood helps me feel rooted and connected, and being among the trees helps me find peace. They form a community with one another, working together to overcome and adapt to the obstacles in their environment. Like the trees, my wife and I draw strength from our own community and our family.

The images I have created for this series represent the journey as my wife and I try to heal from our cancer diagnoses and treatment. I want to share them, hoping they will help others battling cancer, fighting depression and coping with physically and emotionally overwhelming circumstances in their own lives.

Keep up with Thea @teebee01

Click here to view Standing Like a Tree Online