A Bubbly Beautiful Great Soul


2015-10-20 11.27.36


From series, “Visions of Mev.” A scant 4 weeks after her debulking surgery for a glioblastoma (“grade 4”) brain tumor. Mid-May 1994. Mev is sitting enblanketed on couch in our Oakland apartment at 89 Vernon Street, having enjoyed a mid-morning nap. I took photos of her in rapid succession, egging her on and giving her a taste of her own photographic medicine (I beg, “just one more, please!” yet, as one photo shows, she had begun to reach her limit). This marks auspicious beginning to my documenting Mev’s illness, recovery, suffering, and death with image (here) and word (forthcoming). Of the hundreds of photos taken in the last two years, this is how I want to remember Mev from the “long siege” (J.F. Kavanaugh) of her illness: resilient, playful, a wide open, bubbly beautiful great soul. — Mark Chmiel. April, 1996.

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