Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Book Review: 'Not in the Pink' by Tina Martel

Canadian author Tina Martel is a beautiful woman with many talents - an impressive visual artist in mixed media, painting, drawing, books, photography, installation and video. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Living in Saskatchewan she has exhibited across Canada, the United States and in Europe. She has been teaching fine arts in the post secondary system for the last 15 years. She even addressed her diagnosis of breast cancer as an art form, creating this diary or document of every aspect of the disease from diagnosis to the multiple methods of treatment. The result is this beautifully crafted art book complete with commentary that runs the gamut of confrontation of reality, fear, anger and all the intricate aspects a dreaded life threatening disease can elicit.

The book is rich with splendid art in every form. The written comments show that Tina could write a full novel, so well does she express things. For example: ‘ “You look like your husband’s twin.” My husband is a handsome man. Did you catch the last part of that? M-A-N. Is this helpful to what is left of my fragile self-esteem? I have a quarter of my breast removed, I am thin as a rail, completely hairless, exhausted, have been pushed chemically into menopause and de-sexualized to the point of looking like a 14-year-old boy. Or so I thought. Now, apparently I look like a 54-year –old bald man. Do you wonder why I am not joining in the general hilarity’

This book is an example of how art is healing and how art, used in its many venues can convey emotion as well if not better, than the written word. Brilliant! Grady Harp, April 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.