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Breast Cancer and Me – exhibition explores personal experiences of breast cancer

Thursday, 06 October 2022

A new exhibition will use art to explore the lives of people who have been affected by breast cancer, as either a patient, relative, friend or caregiver.

‘Breast Cancer and Me’ will take place at the Angear Visitor Centre (adjacent to the Djanogly Gallery) at Lakeside Arts on University Park between the 8-30 October - during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Carol Pairaudeau, the administrator of the Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre (NBCRC) at the University of Nottingham, has curated the exhibition. Carol is also a former breast cancer patient and professional artist.

Carol Pairaudeau, the administrator of the Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre (NBCRC) at the University of Nottingham, has curated the exhibition. Carol is also a former breast cancer patient and professional artist.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of breast cancer through imaginative, sensitive and thought-provoking pieces. Drawing on personal experience, 15 artists have been invited to take part and present their experiences of breast cancer through a range of visual pieces.

The exhibition will allow visitors to look at breast cancer through creative expression, bringing to attention individual stories of lives affected and changed by breast cancer.

The NBCRC at the University brings together a large team of breast cancer researchers and clinicians, to encourage collaboration in investigating breast cancer. Nottingham has an international reputation for its research into breast cancer with many seminal discoveries now used globally in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer including the Nottingham Grading System and the Nottingham Prognostic Index. Current research continues to provide exciting data, improving understanding of breast cancer, and delivering novel diagnostics and therapies.

Each year, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the NBCRC hosts a public event to raise awareness of the disease and to let people know about the breast cancer research currently being conducted at the University. This year that event is the Breast Cancer and Me exhibition.

Credit - Laura Dampney - Brave

Carol Pairaudeau said: “I am looking forward to the opening of Breast Cancer and Me, and showcasing this amazing artwork to the public. During the pandemic, our NBCRC awareness events moved online and I offered to deliver a seminar to share the breast cancer art that I had created a few years ago, during my MA Art & Design. My talk was well received and I made new connections with other artists who had also made work about their breast cancer experiences. The idea to host an awareness event centered on an art exhibition began to evolve.”

Amy Dury is a Brighton-based artist and former breast cancer patient, who appeared on Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year 2021. Amy has painted the portraits of a number of women who have been through breast cancer and her work will feature in the upcoming exhibition. She said: “The experience of having breast cancer is life-changing. My portraits show women who have come through with new determination to value life and make it matter. I hope that they show the strength and positivity that can be found in the challenge breast cancer presents.”

Credit - Amy Dury - Jess

Alongside the exhibition, two public talks will take place during October, where artists will share their stories behind their creative projects:

  • Jennifer Willis – Seen to be Heard will take place at 11am on Saturday 8 October, Angear Visitor Centre (adjacent to the Djanogly Gallery), Lakeside Arts, University Park

Jennifer is an award-winning photographer from Belfast. Her recent body of work Seen to be Heard is a remarkable series of portraits of 16 women living with secondary breast cancer in Northern Ireland. Selected examples from this wider body of work will be on display as part of the Breast Cancer and Me exhibition.

  • Diane Leopard – Letting photographs tell their stories , 2pm Wednesday 12 October, Angear Visitor Centre (adjacent to the Djanogly Gallery), Lakeside Arts, University Park

Diane is a clinical complementary therapist, living in Stoke-on-Trent. Focus on Emotions is a series of non-clinical photographs taken by Diane to reflect on her personal cancer journey. She has since delivered this illustrated talk to help others understand and appreciate the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.

The Breast Cancer and Me exhibition will be formally launched at a private view on Friday 7 October between 6.30 and 8.30pm where some of the artists will be attending with members of the NBCRC.

Deputy Director of NBCRC, Dr Andy Green said “We are incredibly grateful to all the artists who have generously contributed to this very emotive exhibition sharing their personal experiences of breast cancer. Incidence rates for breast cancer are expected to rise 2% in the next 12 years and there continues to be a real need to continue our research and increase awareness of breast cancer.”

For more information on the exhibition visit

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Phone: 0115 748 4417

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked in the Top 100 globally and 17th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The University is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The University is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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