Following a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy which left her reevaluating every aspect of her life, Gems, at the age of twenty-eight found her mental and physical health inexplicably deteriorating. The mother of two was left wondering how she was going to confront the radical changes this diagnosis would bring. A true, ongoing story of immense bravery, this artistic memoir details her journey to becoming a self-portrait artist on a mission to spread a message.
Documenting the triumph of creativity over darkness, this is one woman’s journey to the centre of herself, where she finds not only inspiration and the strength to flourish, but a new outlet to share her life’s purpose through the power of creativity.
A personal fine art nude photographic art book with an accompanying written personal memoir of 22,000 words.
"Naked truth as never read or viewed before! Heart-wrenchingly beautiful, uplifting, inspirational, brave honesty, a life-changing necessity." - Jennie Louwes, Reedsy Discovery
"A combination of photography and words that paint a powerful, memorable picture of the author’s life, this memoir is an intimate confession of creativity and prose that effectively captures the severe pain of a degenerative disease diagnosis and its resultant haunting emotions. The collection of essays, poetry and photography speaks of a story of survival, documenting the triumph of creativity over darkness" The Author and Artist: Jemme MD Art.
Gems, known as Jemme MD Art, is a 37 year-old self-portrait artist, her speciality fine art nude portraits. Her nude work is based on her own documentation of her journey living with a life-limiting, disabling, degenerative disease called muscular dystrophy, alongside depression, anxiety and bipolar type 2 disorder.
Creativity allows her the feeling of freedom instead of being confined by the disease, and her goal is to help others affected by a disability or chronic conditions by using fine art photography to tell a story, inspire and at the same time, raise awareness.
"My name is Gems otherwise known as Jemme MD Art. I am a 37 year old self portrait artist. My primary works are fine art nude portraits. My nude work is based around my own documentation of my journey living with a life limiting, disabling, degenerative disease called muscular dystrophy. Alongside depression, anxiety and bipolar type 2 disorder. Photography, art and writing gives me the space I need to feel freedom and be able to feel no longer confined by my disease. My goal through my self portrait photography and my honest writing is to help those personally affected mentally and physically by a disability/chronic illness disease or conditions by using fine art photography to tell a powerful story, to reach out to the viewer also,to be able to raise much needed awareness and understanding of the complexities of living with these conditions at the same time. Using photography and photographing myself as my body changes has forced me to look deeper within myself allowing me to fight my issues around my body confidence due to it's ever changing landscape. Something I was once ashamed of and really struggled with. I decided the only way to do this was to tell my truth. By not only being naked in my photographs but naked with my words, I hope to help as many people as I can"
Reviews and Accolades
"Your book is fantastic.
A real tour de force.
"The photos that Jemme shares with us, coupled with her words, are power-filled. Some require captions to understand while others speak for themselves. After all, art is in the eye of the beholder, and not every piece needs to be dissected but instead to be understood. Within the understanding are layers of speech. Not all speech is made up of words but of sounds and nuances and guttural noises that were never meant to be deciphered but felt.
In Jemme's body of work, within her words and photographs, are self-portraits of substance, tiredness, depression, loneliness, repurposed into love. A desire to crawl out of one's skin turned into acceptance and owning each facet. May we all be fortunate enough to find inspiration from Jemme, the story that continues to unravel yet is being woven together perfectly through her own hands, and do our best to follow suit. We are all more than what afflicts us. Within each of our stories, there is indeed a beauty to be found within the mess."
-Jennie Louwes Reedsy Discovery
"Jemme MD Art presents an intimate confession of art and prose in We Are All A Beautiful Mess. Capturing the intense pain of a degenerative disease diagnosis, and the crumbling foundation that can cause, this collection of deeply personal essays, poetry, and striking photography is both haunting and hopeful. Simultaneously analyzing her journey through illness and the road to becoming an artist, this results in a stirring memoir of strength, resilience, and unexpected beauty. The dramatic photography speaks for itself, as does the raw poetry, which work exceptionally well together. A physically and emotionally revealing book, We Are All A Beautiful Mess is wholly unique, and a poignant love letter to the body and soul."
-SPR 4.5 stars.
The book is available in Hardback and e-book editions.
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