Renowned photographer creates book to support Lymphoedema research

14 December 2020
Gemma Levine Aqua.jpg.jpg

Photographer Gemma Levine has created a unique and illuminating photographic book that shines a creative light on the lymphatic system.

'Aqua - A Medical Mystery’ presents a series of photographs on the theme of water. The book, conceived and created by photographer Gemma Levine, known for her iconic black and white portraits of famous figures including Diana Princess of Wales and Dame Judi Dench, is being sold to raise money for Lymphoedema research.

In 2010, Gemma was diagnosed with breast cancer and after months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she made a full recovery, but discovered a swelling in her right arm. This was the beginning of a life with Lymphoedema, a chronic and debilitating disease which is thought to affect more than 200,000 people in the UK.

Caused by damage to the lymphatic system during surgery, cancer treatment or injury, or inherited, Lymphoedema is a build-up of fluid in the body tissues. As a result of the disease, Gemma’s right arm does not function. Her right arm has restrictive movement and she is constantly bound in a compression sleeve. From the moment she contracted the disease her life changed dramatically. Instantly unable to use her cameras and photography equipment, she now relies upon a much lighter iPad and iPhone to combat her disability and enable her to continue her practice.

The images in ‘Aqua – A Medical Mystery’ are accompanied by captions written by Professor Peter Mortimer, Consultant Dermatologist at St George’s University Hospitals Trust and specialist in Lymphoedema. His words creatively draw parallels between Gemma’s photographs and the lymphatic system. Professor Peter Mortimer explains: “There is a desperate need to increase research into lymphatic diseases, particularly Lymphoedema, in order to improve understanding and develop new therapies.”

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Lymphoedema research, in partnership with St George’s Hospital Charity. Purchase price £15 per copy.

To order online:

To order by post: Please send a cheque for £15 to St George’s Hospital Charity, Grosvenor Wing, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT. Cheques should be made payable to ‘St George’s Hospital Charity’ and marked ‘Lymphoedema - Gemma Levine’ on the reverse.

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