When Bettina Bogar and Heather Mundle began a project called skinwork in 2018, the goal was to raise awareness about skin health and skin cancer through a photography exhibition. Mundle had been diagnosed with melanoma earlier in her life and raising awareness had become an important cause for her. Sadly, she didn’t get to see skinwork come to fruition. Shortly after beginning the project, Mundle learned her cancer had returned and she passed away from metastatic melanoma on September 24, 2018.
To honour her friend, Bogar was determined to see the project through, and this month skinwork opened to the public at Toronto’s Artscape Youngeplace. The exhibition features striking close-up images (shot by Bogar) of the unique skin markings on 60 Canadian women.
“Heather was so passionate about skinwork and making it something bigger than us – we are seeing the vision she had through, and then some. We want to honour her life and her goal by doing as much as we can to encourage everyone to be aware of their skin’s health,” says Bogar, project lead and photographer.
Melanoma is the eighth most common type of cancer in Canada, and youth between the ages of 15-29 are particularly at risk. According to the Melanoma Network of Canada, incidences of melanoma in Canada have more than tripled in the last 30 years and continue to rise. Survival rates are high if detected early, but still, over 1,200 Canadians will die from melanoma each year. Protect yourself: Learn the signs of skin cancer and be sure to always wear sunscreen.
If you’d like to check out the exhibition in person, skinwork is on display from March 5-16 at Artscape Youngeplace (180 Shaw Street, 2nd Floor Hallway Galleries). You can also view images at skinwork.info where exhibition prints are available for purchase with 100 percent of profits donated to the Melanoma Network of Canada.