In 2012 the artist Ohiri's mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. Coming from a religious background the family remained optimistic in hope of a miracle that would defy science and come to stand as a true testimony to the power of God.
However, no amount of anointing oil or prayers could save her life and she passed away suddenly leaving behind many of her possessions including the box of medication that was used to treat her cancer.

As Ohiri transforms into character, it is the hand of his partner that carefully applies his tribalistic face-paint, adorns him with sacred charms made from the remaining medication then takes this intimate portrait. The final stage of becoming the 'Medicine Man' acts as a joint mourning ritual and closure for both of the artists, in a collaborative portrait that explores the boundaries between time, space and existence.

The portrait is part of the Wellcome Collection


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