Welcome to our first Donuts & Pie Fitness interview. We have some fabulous interviews planned for you and we hope you will make sure to opt-in so you don’t miss a single one.
We are really excited today to introduce you to Eileen Powers of “Can You Make Hair for Me?”. Eileen is an artist and photographer. In 2018, she was diagnosed with lymphoma and to date, she has been through 9 rounds of chemotherapy and a stem transplant.
A few weeks into her treatments she began to lose her hair and felt as if she had lost her identity. It took her 6 weeks to get the courage to even look in a mirror. Once she did, she saw things from a different perspective. Eileen became fascinated by her bald head and saw it as a blank sheet of paper. That is when she created her project “Can You Make Hair For Me?”
Friends and family wanted to help Eileen so she invited them to participate in her project by making hair for her out of various materials. She felt that by including people in her project, she could give them, as well as herself, something to think about, rather than focusing on her illness. As the various “head pieces” came in, Eileen styled, modeled and photographed them. She wants to create something that relates to people and often gets her ideas from specific characters that people might know or see every day.
Eileen has an upcoming presentation called: “Artoma: The Art of Cancer” in Chicago, January 10th through the 31st. The artists in the exhibition have regarded cancer as an inevitable part of life’s path and allowed their cancer and treatment to guide their art. Using ancient and modern techniques and materials each artist offers their very personal interpretation and reaction to their experience.
Eileen used to take pictures of random people and turn them into artwork. She then became the subject of what she was going through. Going from behind the camera to becoming the subject in front of the camera was an adjustment but she realized it was the right thing to do.
She really thinks people who have experienced cancer will have a greater appreciation for her art because they know how hard it is to get used to the changes in their bodies. She loves how people have different ways of solving the problem and how unique and creative they all are.
We asked Eileen what her prescription was for aging enthusiastically. She said a person should think about the physical aging of the body separately from their numerical age. By doing this she has been able to think of life differently. Once free from the boundaries of your numerical age your mind can do some amazing things. She feels as if her age is irrelevant to her. “If a challenge or idea makes you uncomfortable it is probably a good idea. If something you are going to do that is different, scares you, it is probably a good thing, because you are putting yourself out there.” This is the way to discovering new passions, talents, and missions.
Eileen believes that by putting herself out there with her hair photographs she will help others recognize something in themselves and hopes that it makes a difference.
Where to find Eileen Powers:
If you would like to create and send Eileen hair:
Eileen’s latest exhibit:
Jan 10-31 Artoma: The Art of Cancer at the Chicago Art Department, East Gallery
If you would like to create and send Eileen hair: check out the guidelines here: https://eileenpowersphotography.com/make-hair-for-me/
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