Some of the best breasts and artists of the West Kootenay will combine in a show to raise awareness around breast health issues, opening April 13 in Nelson at Ourglass Gallery and Studio.
Drawing on the breasts and artistic talents of 25 people from across the region, mainly Nelson and the Slocan Valley, plaster busts of 13 women aged 17 to 71 years old have been painted and decorated by 13 well-known artists.
It’s the body form as art and Art on the body when the aesthetics of a baker’s dozen of busts lavished with artistic inspiration deliver the message of understanding who your breast friends are.
“You need to know your Breasts,” said Safire Jones, the curator of the show and one of the featured artists. “This show is to remind people to take the matters of breast health into their own hands.”
The slate of artists includes Avrell Fox, Cassia Barrett, Della Schafer, Marin Patenaude, Christina Smith, Cindy Moser, Bubzy, Allanah Cronshaw, Rabi`a, Tanya Pixie Johnson, Natasha Smith, Samuel Stevenson and Safire Jones.
The show was inspired by Jones’ mother, Lyn, 63, who died from breast cancer in ChristChurch, New Zealand, last July. She went through chemotherapy, a mastectomy radiation therapy, and hormone therapy, but succumbed to the disease less than one year and a half after diagnosis.
“I firmly believe that with early detection I may have had my mom around for longer,” Jones said. “By the time she was diagnosed it was already large and aggressive.”
“As a result, I believe it is important that people become familiar with the shape and feel of their breasts ,knowing their usual lumps and bumps, so they can be prepared for a change if it happens,” she added.
“Some people are scared of what they might find so they don’t look, or are unsure as to what is normal. But there is no such thing as a typical breast since everyone’s breasts are different,” said Jones. And breast cancer is not gender specific either, meaning men can develop cancer in the region as well.
The show opens at Ourglass in Nelson on Friday, April 13 and runs from 7-9 p.m., featuring some Live Mountain Momma Magic, music from the heart of the Kootenays.
Open for one month, it will then move around the West Kootenay throughout the summer, stopping in at the Wee Gallery in Passmore, and Sleep is for Sissies Café in Winlaw.
As the summer wears on, Safire hopes to see the busts in a variety of locations, wrapping up with the final Extravaganza and Art Auction of the BUSTS in Nelson at the Spiritbar in late summer.
Each show will contain information from Willow ,a support network for people living with a diagnosis of breast cancer, on breast examinations and breast health. Proceeds from the auction of the busts will be split between Willow and something beautiful for the oncology ward (cancer treatment) at Kootenay Lake Hospital.
If there are people who would like to showcase some of the busts at their establishment this summer, contact Safire Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the online auction at www.SAFIREJONES.COM.
The show was made possible with a grant from the Slocan Valley Arts Council.