The Breast Cancer Art Project’s mission is to provide a platform for those affected by breast cancer to express their experiences of cancer through art.
The emotional and physical experiences of cancer can be overwhelming and difficult to process and to express, but art has a special way of assisting that expression. The act of creating is in itself therapeutic, and the act of sharing our creations provides a place to be heard and better understood.
The online gallery of the Breast Cancer Art Project is created by the breast cancer community for the breast cancer community, yet at the same time helping others, such as family, friends and colleagues, as well as medical professionals and the wider public, to better understand what we are going through.
By art, we mean art in all its forms. Paintings, sketches, photography, poetry, stories, non-fiction, film, music… we welcome your submissions. You do not need to see yourself as an artist to contribute, and even if you haven’t been creative since childhood (as surely we were all creative then), we encourage you to give it a go. It is all about the process, not about producing professional level artwork!
“People say they aren’t arty, but it really doesn’t matter. If you can make a mark or write a word, you can create”
Download our poster: Breast Cancer Art Project A4 Poster
Project Founder – Adriana Ford
I launched the Breast Cancer Art Project in October 2017, just days after my reconstructive surgery. At the time I had just participated in a cancer art project for Cardiff University, for which I painted a piece called ‘Healing with Gold’. It was the first time I had ever truly expressed myself through art, and I found the process a very powerful way of expressing some of the feelings I had inside of me, which at the time I was finding hard to process. It helped on my way to healing psychologically.
I wondered if others going through breast cancer would also benefit from a platform to share their experiences of breast cancer through art. Not everyone feels like writing a blog, yet they still need a way to express themselves. To have a place to submit your work where it can be shared and viewed by others may be just the motivation you need to harness your creative side. I also hope that experiencing other people’s art can help in some way.
The Breast Cancer Art Project is not an organisation or a charity. As yet, it has no funding or external support, and is managed by the good will of volunteers. So please do be patient as we manage this site and the submissions, and work out the best way of doing this.
I really hope you enjoy both viewing the submissions as they come in, and contributing art yourself if you would like. I’m so excited to see the creativity flourish!
Wishing you love and good health,
Adriana (Project Founder)
Adriana lives in London and grew up in the West Country. She was diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer, stage 3c, in July 2016 at the age of 34, and spent the next 15 months having treatment and surgeries. To mark one year from diagnosis, she hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc with her sister and friends – 100 miles, 10,000m total ascent and descent, around the Alps in seven days, raising over £2k for cancer charities. She is currently clear of cancer and exploring ways to deal with the emotional aftermath.
When Adriana isn’t dealing with breast cancer, she’s a researcher in environmental social sciences. Her passion is nature, wildlife and travelling, but she also loves the gym and samba, which helps with both her physical and psychological strength. She also adores her cat.
As well as her incredible family and friends, she has been supported by some fantastic organisations and groups since diagnosis, including Younger Breast Cancer Network, Willow Foundation, Sail4Cancer, Dimbleby Cancer Care, the Breast Cancer Haven, the Primrose Centre and OpMeta. She was treated at the Princess Royal University Hospital, Guys Hospital, and RUH Bath, and will forever be grateful to the amazing staff in the NHS, particularly her surgeon in Bath, who have saved her life.
Arts Coordinator – Amabel Mortimer
Amabel Mortimer has been involved in the Breast Cancer Art Project from the beginning. Connecting with Adriana through the Younger Breast Cancer Network, her excitement, belief in the project and practical input led to her being invited to be an official part of this initiative.
Amabel has extensive experience in the field of arts and health. She initially trained at Bath School of Art & Design, specialising in painting, printmaking and design ceramics. She then went on to gain a Masters of Arts in Art, Health and Wellbeing at Birmingham City University. Stemming from this she adopted a crafting and experimental approach to much of her work and has continued to explore this through various media. However, doing sketch paintings of vintage items was her first love.
After many years working as a freelance tutor and arts facilitator in her spare time, she went on to work as lead artist on arts in hospice and community projects within her role as creative arts coordinator. She has exceptional experience and understanding of participatory arts, and is committed to socially inclusive practice and collaborative working.
Amabel has also undertaken research into arts interventions, presented at the European Association for Palliative Care in Copenhagen, been shortlisted for the Arts in Health Prize for Arts in Health, received an NHS award for innovation in practice and exhibited at both the Mall Galleries and the Wellcome Trust. Needless to say, the Breast Cancer Art Project is very lucky to have her!