….and is already attracting artwork from across the world.
The Breast Cancer Art Project provides an online platform for those who have or had breast cancer to submit and share their artwork with others, so they can feel heard, understood and part of a community. The project hopes to inspire people to use art to express themselves and deal with the very difficult emotional and physical challenges of cancer. The online gallery can also help family and friends gain a better understanding of what those with cancer go through.
All art forms are welcome
Although the project is in its infancy, it has already attracted some powerful submissions, including paintings, drawings, poems, non-fiction writing and photography. All art forms are welcome, and with time there may be music, fiction and film as well. It’s all entirely free, it’s open to anyone regardless of ability or where they live, and the artwork is simply submitted online and added to the site. There’s also a mentoring system in place, where over the course of two months an established artist can give guidance and feedback remotely to those who would like help.
How it all started
The project was created by Adriana Ford, who was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 34 in July 2016. She launched the project last month, just 6 days after her breast reconstruction, whilst on bed rest:
“We all deal with a cancer diagnosis in our own way. For me, I ploughed through active treatment – chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and the rest – as if it would be defeatist of me to do anything but that. I was warned that most of the emotional impact may hit me later, and it sure did! As I process the last 16 months – the gruelling treatment, my changed body, my threatened fertility, and the fear of my own mortality – I have started to find things emotionally tough.
A few months back, I just happened to get involved with a cancer research project led by Cardiff University, in which I was invited to create some artwork. I found it such an emotional, therapeutic experience, and it was probably the first time I truly expressed my feelings or experiences through painting. Creating art won’t fix everything, but it helps me somehow. And not only that, I enjoy it, rediscovering my creative side that had been completely neglected. It occurred to me that maybe others would benefit from this too – a place to submit our artwork and share our experiences in a different way, and encourage those with breast cancer to connect with their creativity. Art as therapy. And that’s how this project came about.”
The project is always welcoming new submissions and is seeking art mentors too. As the project grows, Adriana is also interested in opportunities to exhibit some of the work.