The enthralling story of beating cancer with web3 art is the happy ending to what began as the terrifying news anyone could receive. The diagnosis was sudden, sharp, and shocking: cancer, malignant, and rapidly spreading. To survive what remained in her body (and what awaited in the operating room), she would need the strength of a warrior. Fear is a luxury in life-or-death battles.
Mechell had achieved fame as a professional photographer, but her disease forced her into social isolation. She had no idea how to talk about cervical cancer or where she could get emotional support while carrying a box of "cancer stuff" that no one could assist her in unpacking.
She remained silent, not wanting to burden those close to her. She began to define herself by her disease as she became increasingly isolated from social outlets. "The Big C" had not only assaulted her cellular structure, but it had also stolen her identity.
"I just couldn't put it down" she admits. "I just carried it every day, through treatments and recovery, and then into depression, waiting quietly for the next ordeal of chemotherapy, followed by a tortuous wait for results."
Mechell endured an endless array of radiation, morphine, surgeries, blood work, and waiting in the year that followed her initial diagnosis, always wondering what was next, unable to speak openly about her disease. Nonetheless, she remained optimistic despite each day's impairment and anxiety. Pessimists are rarely victorious in battle.
Cancer may injure the body, but it can never bury talent. She began to conduct daily photo shoots on the beaches of Pinellas County, Florida, exploring Madiera Beach's stories through her camera lens.
What drives Mechell?
She broadened the scope of her photoshoots a few months after rekindling her passion for photography. She was eager to invent a new art form, to create a new world based on images of everyday objects that had been long neglected or were frequently overlooked. Mannequins would eventually provide her with divine inspiration.
Mannequins' inertia and imperturbability blended perfectly with her photographing style and murky post-production techniques. She developed a strange bond with these majestic dummies doomed to toil in silence indefinitely. They were gracefully parading themselves on the world stage, being used as a utility, but they had no voice. Their circumstances were similar to her own.
Ms. Lord had finally found her muse. She began carrying actual mannequins on her daily walks, handing them over to strangers to Solicit reactions (which were then used as inspiration in her photo editing efforts) and to stage dynamic scenes that resulted in radically bizarre photos. What did they feel while clutching a mannequin? Capturing their emotions added a thrilling element to the creative process.
“Shooting mannequin faces is creating a door to recovery that I hadn’t realized was there. Taking the mannequin out of the shop through editing so they can be more widely seen has sparked my creativity and joy like nothing else in the last twenty years.”
Given the excellence of the web3 art and the gravity of her celebrity, her latest mannequin creations have been minted as NFTs on Foundation and can be collected at prices far below fair market value.
"Shooting mannequins allows me to bring back smiles and hope, as well as to be fully grounded in this world while feeling connected to those I love." she explains. "They walked the path of recovery with me, pulling me out of my box and giving me the courage to re-enter society."
Her mannequins caught the eye of legendary photographer Gabriel DeSante earlier this year, who created a VR gallery dedicated to her recent web3 art.
"He photographed me inside a lovely gallery space with my mannequins. I'm creating a virtual gallery space for NFTs for myself and anyone who wants to visit, accessible from a phone, computer, or even a VR headset," she elaborates.
Mechell and Gabriel have created a safe space for victims and their loved ones to explore and share their experiences. She also tells her cancer story in her VR gallery, not only through mannequin photos but also through the actual spoken word. Each photo is accompanied by a voiceover in which she shares her story and strengths while discussing her photography and her difficult road to recovery.
Through her art and voice, she reminds us that sharing our journey allows us to heal others—and we all have a story to tell. "Everyone is going through something," she says, bringing us back to reality. "Be a warrior, speak up, and tell your stories." "On the other side, there is healing."