Growing up with cancer

Celebrating young people's personal and social experiences.

Growing up with cancer

Celebrating young people's personal and social experiences

Growing Up with Cancer (GUWC) used research and creative practice to understand the experience of having cancer during adolescence and young adulthood. Funded by the Australian Research Council, it brings together researchers, artists, advocates and clinicians at the Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and CanTeen – the Australian organisation for young people living with cancer.

During 2010 and 2011, 27 young people participated in interviews about the nature and extent of the impact of cancer on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Of these, 19 collaborated with an artist or worked on their own to produce a self-portrait that represented their experience of growing up and having cancer.

During 2012 and 2013 an exhibition of these works toured Australia, spending time at eight venues including hospitals, and community, art and education spaces. Twenty-two self-portraits are represented in this exhibition, including one suite of music. The works are now on permanent loan to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre art collection.

This website is a virtual home for the beautiful, poignant, strong and thought-provoking works. It allows audiences across the world to gain insights into the ongoing and complex social and personal consequences of cancer.