Vital Signs

Ann Chamberlain

Each cushion approx. 4" diameter

Pigment on cotton, hand-sewn into pin cushions

Edition of 10


Ann Chamberlain's work was always an effort in deep self reflection. The first of her many projects with G16 was in response to her diagnosis of breast cancer. Vital Signs, a project that involved a book, multiples, sculpture and wall paper all reflecting her body's transformation with illness. The book “Stain” was a self portrait presented through images of her medical pathology and personal snapshots. Technically the book was a marriage of form and function. Digital scanning and print technology allowed for the imaging of her blood cells and cancerous tumors. Ann was insatiably curious and embraced technology as a means to realize her vision.

During Ann's treatment at Mt Zion Cancer Center, she obtained images of her blood work and images of pathology from the medical library. These images were brought to the shop to assist in the making of the book, wallpaper and multiples. This medical imaging of her pathology became source material for our much of our work with Ann. We used microscopic images of blood cells and cancerous cell structures to form a self portrait through seen through the imprint of the illness.

Ann had formerly been the program director at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin. Her primary focus as an artist was creating poetic public projects, both permanent and temporary. She had just finished a collaborative work with Ann Hamilton at the San Francisco Public Library when Margaret Kilgallen introduced us. Margaret had assisted Ann on the installation of the Library Project and was very enthusiastic about the experience.

Ann passed away in 2008, at the age of 56, after a long bout with the disease. Her legacy will be felt for years to come.