Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Running on empty

Zel Brook
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Artist’s statement: My photography, sculpture, and paintings document my lifelong experiences with illness and disability.

dysfunctional wheelchair

Self-portrait with dysfunctional wheelchair
Zel Brook
Wood, metal, rubber
50” x 40”
This piece is a re-use of wheelchair wheels on an uncomfortable chair with my cane balanced on the seat. This reflects the disuse of my wheelchair, and the use of lots of chairs and a cane, with concurrent balancing difficulties.

Camera drawings
Zel Brook
Digital color photograph printed on archival ink jet paper
22” x 22”
This piece uses the shake of my body to make the compositions. Rather than disregarding the shake, I use the shake to draw. These camera drawings were made by depressing the shutter, and remembering an imagined composition I had practiced.

camera drawings

threatening and dangerous canes

Threatening and dangerous canes
Zel Brook
Mixed media, canes
38” x 8”
This series was made in response to being disqualified from United States Track and Field events because I ran with a cane competing against able-bodied athletes.

Self-portrait with black eye
Zel Brook
Oil on canvas
28 ¼” x 22”
This painting is a result of not knowing exactly where my feet were and falling on an uneven sidewalk. The paint palette depicted in the painting represents the original paint colors used in the actual work.

Self portrait with black eye

night run

Night Run
Zel Brook
Monoprint, ink on paper
10” x 12”
Night Run depicts me running at midnight on New Year’s Eve during a meteor shower. I run with a cane.

ZEL BROOK is a disabled, female artist who was born in Seattle, WA. She lives and makes art in Oregon. She has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Zel has made and exhibited sculpture related to running with a cane. She does camera drawings using the shaking of her tremors to draw. She has exhibited at the National Press Club, received a fellowship to paint at the Corcoran Museum of Art, had ten residencies, as well as an internship at the Center on Creative Photography. She has curated exhibitions, is the recipient of a Strauss award, a Presidents Award, a University Honda Award and an Excellence in Art Award. She has also exhibited in Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, California, and other national venues. She has been featured in numerous publications, including Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women.

Highlighted in Frontispiece Volume 5, Issue 1 – Winter 2013

Winter 2013



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