Radiotherapy during COVID-19

Filippa Buttitta

Artist Statement
As COVID-19 took over the world earlier this year, an alien simultaneously grew rapidly in my brain, affecting my eyesight. It affected the very faculty that as an artist I needed in order to see and create work. Confused and baffled with my inability to draw and paint well anymore, or read the largest of print, my optometrist urged me to visit the Sydney Eye Hospital. I soon learnt of my shocking diagnosis: an aggressive and rapidly growing GBM4 brain tumour.

There is no known cure for GBM4—only treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy which are used to prolong life. A portrait of myself undergoing radiotherapy,
Radiotherapy during COVID-19 is also an exploration of my emotional devastation during this period of instability and uncertainty. A representation of the mix of fear and strength, which surrounds the ordeal of surviving a brain tumour during a time of COVID-19.

Further Insight
The work of Filippa Buttitta is an ongoing exploration of anxiety through the dual lens of identity and cultural history. She holds an MFA and MA from the College of Fine Arts, Sydney, a BVA from Sydney College of the Arts, and an Associate Diploma in Expressive and Performing Arts (Distinction) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Buttitta has been selected as a finalist in numerous major art prizes including the Archibald Prize, Archibald Salon de Refusés, Doug Moran Portrait Prize (semi-finalist), The Lester Prize, Kilgour Prize, Percival Portrait Prize and Portia Geach Memorial Award.

Medium: Oil on board

Size: 60 cm x 45 cm

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