Amanda Nicol Different Stories

CategoryCancer

Love, Medicine & Mexico

‘And an excellent and moving read it is too. And edgy, witty, informative, counter-hegemonic…’  Dr Alec Grant, Reader in Narrative Mental Health, University of Brighton.

One of my doctors in Mexico told me that cancer was a mensaje, a message. This piece of work (in progress) is my interpretation of my healing journey and an exploration of what that message was for me. From a crippling fear of doctors and medicine to profound gratitude and wonder at humanity’s dedication to preserving and improving life; from anxiety and despair around my identity to feeling comfortable about defining myself as spiritual as well as a human being, one responsible to and an inseparable part of the whole of our increasingly fragile biosphere.

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Transition

Image of painting - Sussex Downs in Winter by Amanda Nicol
Transition mixed media on canvas 60cms x 60cms

Inspired by walking on the South Downs, repainted endlessly while Mum was ill and dying, this is the only painting I have done this year. The merging of matter into spirit – the indefinable place where the two meet. A completely inadequate expression of the experience of the death of the woman who brought me life, who supported me through that life and who I miss more than I can say.

This painting is to be donated to St Michael’s Hospice, with thanks for their tireless work, compassion and dedication.

 

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Bridges Not Walls: The Border Fence at Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Photo of graffiti on the US/Mexican border fence at Playas de TijuanaPresident Trump’s determination to press on with his diabolical plans for a wall has made me think a lot about the border fence at Playas. I’ve been drawn to it again and again on my many trips to Tijuana for medical follow-ups after life-saving treatment in 2013. The graffiti is powerful, the sight of relatives speaking to loved ones through the fence heartbreaking.

These photos speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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Autumn and I, Daniel Blake

Autumn scene mixed media on paper by Amanda Nicol
Autumn mixed media on paper A3

A friend told me I should send Ken Loach a copy of House of Bread. The central characters share a name and have more in common than that. Both up against an intractable system where kindness and humanity are the exceptions, not the rule. Sanctioned, sectioned – strangely similar words for what feels like punishment; for non-compliance to some constructed norm.

 

 

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Dead Pets, Molly & Me

I dreaded losing my first dog, Jude, and it was every bit as bad as I’d anticipated. He died when he was 12, his kidneys failed after years of treatment for allergies and itchy skin, which we had managed with the care of an excellent vet, and regular sea bathing says Amanda Nicol.

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Viva España

Photo of beach by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Viva España was longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2010

Reg watched the two cyclists, a couple, wheeling their bikes towards the bar. Like a text book illustration of the difference between the human male and the human female in their skin-tight black Lycra shorts, so sweaty they looked spray-on, their every cleft and bulge mercilessly delineated like strange beasts in season.

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Amanda Nicol Different Stories

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