Following a diagnosis of lung cancer, Paul Benjamin’s friends suggested he write a blog of his experiences. Being an artist, he decided to keep a visual rather than written diary of his life, treatments and feelings towards his diagnosis . This resulted in eighteen large sketchbooks of nearly three hundred drawings detailing his journey with cancer. After his death, his wife Jacqui reproduced a large selection of the drawings into this beautiful special edition collector’s book. Produced as a limited edition of 200, all profits made by the sale of the book go to St Christophers Hospice in Sydenham who cared for Paul at the end of his life. The book was highly commended at the British Book Design & Production Awards 2018.
Limited edition of 200.
450 x 350mm (portrait).
Privately commissioned by Jacqui Benjamins.
Designed by Sally Macintosh.
All profits go to St Christophers Hospice in Sydenham.
Paul worked with a new urgency during the last year of his life, completing a series of monoprints with Advanced Graphics, culminating with a show in April 2015 at their gallery in The Borough. Paul worked on these prints in between chemotherapy sessions at Guys hospital, walking down to the studio’s workshop when he had enough energy to work.
When Paul was first diagnosed with lung cancer, friends suggested he write a blog of his experiences. Being an artist Paul decided to keep a visual diary of his life, treatment and feelings towards his diagnoses. The result is eighteen large sketchbooks detailing his journey with cancer, nearly three hundred drawings. After his death, these were put together by his wife, Jacqui, into the book This Time It’s For Real.
Paul’s last show was in Paris in October 2015, a mini retrospective in Paris at the Galerie Pascal Gabert. By that time Pauls energy was quite low, but he was determined to attend the opening and managed to get to Paris and back and see his fantastic successful exhibition.
The last work Paul completed before his death last November were two drawings for his son Daniel, for his new restaurant, The Habit in Nunhead, London, a drawing for his daughter, Rebecca and a painting for Jacqui, which was left unfinished. He said it just needed a few more marks.
Paul’s determination to work during those last few months was extraordinary, and he leaves behind an inspiring body of work.
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