In Greek mythology, the Amazons are depicted as extraordinary warriors, with courage and unbridled bravery, enough to amputate a breast to become better archers. Looking into the mirror of these figures, the French artist Prune Nourry turned her breast cancer into art. The disease became raw material for Nourry, and her own experience became the subject of an artwork that expresses the struggle of those who go through serious illnesses and, most especially, what it means to recover and come back to life.
After being diagnosed in 2016, she began an interdisciplinary exploration in the midst of a personal search as intense as it is open, with which she has been sharing with her audience the keys and personal experiences that helped her to heal.
This catharsis has given rise to major sculptural works, an audiovisual documentary ("Serendipity") and, now, a peculiar book: Aux Amazones, published by Marabout first in French.
In it, Nourry intersperses his own story with testimonies, essays, recommendations and expert advice, to provide tools for those who face this kind of struggle. With a foreword by the actress Angelina Jolie (a breast cancer survivor as well), the publication gives an account of the exchanges that Nourry has had over the years with oncologists, psychologists, surgeons, acupuncturists and even projects such as Mugaritz, given the importance of food in diseases such as cancer. In this context, the chef Andoni Luis Aduriz was invited to write one of the chapters, with the idea of providing keys associated with the selection, preparation and consideration of food during these processes, highlighting the value of undertaking these tasks with creativity and curiosity, as well as understanding that eating better does not have to involve greater effort or less pleasure.
In 2015, Mugaritz published "Cocinar para Vivir" (Cooking for Life), together with Dr. Fernando Fombellida. The lessons learned by the team find in Prune's book the opportunity to insist on what it means to face the challenge of a healthy diet from a conscious perspective, with which not only people affected by health limitations can eat better: anyone who sets their mind to it can do it and enjoy it.
Prune's publication was launched in September, with the idea of reaching thousands of women with cancer for free, which was made possible by another sculpture-driven creative display: during the confinement, she built a monumental installation, L'Amazone Érogène, in which a huge wooden breast appeared in front of hundreds of menacing arrows: the sale of these arrows raised the funds needed to boost the production and distribution of her copies.