When Benjamin Scheuer started to take artistic photographs of his journey through chemotherapy, he had no idea where the project would lead him.
Scheuer, the creator and performer of the one-man show “THE LION,” was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011. His doctor informed him that as he began to feel better on the inside, his body would appear worse on the exterior.
“I thought: this is a fascinating visual contradiction,” Scheuer said. “I think it’s right for a visual art project.”
Riya Lerner took the 27 photos to make up the black and white pages of “Between Two Spaces.” Accompanying the photographs are Scheuer’s journal entries through his battle with cancer.
“To me, it seemed like a no brainer that we could use this book to raise money for the Leukemia/Lymphoma society,” he said.
Scheuer began selling “Between Two Spaces” in the lobby during his shows, where 50 percent of the proceeds benefit cancer research. His idea was to bring together people from all different communities, including the theatre community and the cancer community to raise awareness for cancer. Scheuer explains that having a project to focus on helped him through his chemotherapy.
“Patience is hard, but you have to get through the dark to get to the light,” he said.
As his book became more successful, “THE LION” became a theatre sensation. The show has won multiple awards including the 2015 Off-West End Award for Best New Musical. This past June, Scheuer’s debut album, “Songs from THE LION” released, where he converted his show into a studio album. His animated films for “The Lion,” “Cookie-tin Banjo” and “Weather The Storm,” have also won multiple awards and are renowned for their creativity.
“I’m not interested in following the mold that’s been done before,” he explains. “I’m interested in forging new ground.”
SONGS FROM THE LION is now available for purchase on iTunes. His book can be purchased at http://betweentwospaces.com/.