This work is a journey into the twilight state in which traumatic memory lives. I return to the world of rupture and vulnerability and use the camera for the ritual of healing – for the cohesion of my well-being. With a soft, steady gaze through the camera’s lens, I begin to be the observer of my physicalness, one sensation at a time. It’s an ontological journey where the immediacy and particulars of the subjective dimension of my experience come forward.

This work operates as a reflective process of relating to myself and my body’s intelligence, as well as to my family and the empathy expressed between a daughter and a father. It’s an illness and empathy that combines them.

At nineteen years of age, on New-Years Eve, I suffered from extensive internal bleeding. This hemorrhaging led to the discovery that I actually had a major inter-organ tumor. Unprecedented in Poland, there were no medical case studies nor proposed courses of treatment. Later I learned that my situation was one of 300 cases worldwide where science had few answers to what is the cause and how to proceed.

I spent weeks in the hospital, stabilized after the bleeding and awaiting my first surgery. The first procedure lasted nine hours. Being cut open for so long changed my body at a cellular level, leaving signs of stress and anxiety connected to the threat of survival. This surgery lives as a photographic negative in my life, which henceforth produces images, including the ones that form this body of work.


Waiting Room

Healing Bath

Sitting Up

Lying Still





Izabela Jurcewicz is currently an MFA candidate at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a graduate from the International Center of Photography, University of Arts in Poznan (BFA) and Warsaw University (MA in Sociology). Izabela’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions, including the International Center of Photography, Baxter St CCNY, School of Visual Arts Flatiron Gallery, Affirmation Arts in New York, MONA Museum of the Newest Art in Poznan. Her works were presented during such international photography festivals as Month of Photography in Bratislava (OFF), 12th Fotofestival in Lodz, 8th Biennale of Photography in Poznan. You can check out more of her work here.