Thursday, 16 October 2014

Brighton artist calls for research on prevention, in our battle against breast cancer

Jamie McCartney - Goddess - 2014
During a talk to launch an  exhibition of his art, including nudes and scans of womens' breasts, Jamie McCartney said he supported Breast cancer UK because it focuses on prevention rather than cure. The show runs to 9 November 2014 in Ground Coffee Cafe, Hove, UK.

Jamie makes his art by scanning body parts and recombining the scans into prints. He showed a poster  he has made of hundreds of scans of women’s breasts, one version in bras and one naked. The posters are on sale for £10, of which £2.50 goes to charity. Some people commented this is exploitative; Jamie counters that yes, he enjoys bodies, so do many other people, so let's raise money for charity, and public awareness.
Jamie also mentioned something else that made me think. He mentions that he has chosen to support Breast Cancer UK because, he said, it is the only charity that campaigns to prevent breast cancer (rather than try to cure the cancer once started). I did a search, and found others looking for prevention, but none that state so clearly that our modern environment must be closely looked at.
100 years ago breast cancer was unheard of. Now 1 in 8 women (and some men) will get it, one in 5 of these will die). So what is is about modern life that give rise to this cancer? It might be an uncomfortable answer – plastic bottles have come under suspicion, as have chemicals in under arm deodorants. Whether uncomfortable or not, we need to focus efforts on what is causing the cancer. What communities have less cancer? What are the lifestyle differences? And then let's play safe. If we suspect it, lets not eat it or use it for packaging our food! This research will not be popular with industry, because industry does not want us to criticise what it is coaxing us to consume.
Well done Jamie for calling our attention to this. Even if you did find it enjoyable.

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