Photography project depicting Plymouth women aims to highlight breast cancer
A FINAL-year photography student hopes to raise awareness of breast cancer with her latest project.
Forty-eight-year-old Eileen Long, who lives on Dartmoor, teamed up with breast cancer survivor Hannah Whale to find and photograph women from Devon and Cornwall who have had one or both breasts removed as a result of cancer.
The Amazonian Project, which the pair started working on at the end of last year, intends to remove the stigma surrounding breast cancer and mastectomies and celebrate the scars that represent life.
The Herald told Eileen and Hannah's story last October and since then the pair managed to recruit 22 women, the majority from Plymouth, to take part in the photography project.
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Eileen, a final year BA Photography student at Plymouth College of Art, said: "For the past nine months I have been working in collaboration with Cornish artist Hannah Whale on a photographic project depicting women from the South West who have undergone single or double mastectomy operations.
"The project has culminated in a series of 21 poignant personal portraits and a group photograph taken at Carnglaze Caverns – stunning slate caves in Cornwall.
"The Amazonian Project represents in a positive light ordinary women, their struggle and their bravery.
"We recruited about 17 of the women at our first recruitment day and then news started to spread by word of mouth. We had a fair few calls from the oncology department at Derriford Hospital who had found women who wanted to take part.
"All the women involved agreed that there was a lack of support post-surgery in Plymouth and felt that breast cancer needed to be highlighted more.
"After the group shot at the caves I went and did portrait photos of the women at their homes and most of them decided to show their mastectomy scars - that's how strongly they felt about it.
"I've had a real education into what these women have been through and I hope the final photos highlight that.
"Both myself and Hannah are keen to do further work on breast cancer in the future, because as more people get diagnosed there is a clear need to keep highlighting it."
The photographic exhibition, called Free Range, is showing at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, in London between June 13 and 16.
Hannah and Eileen also previously collaborated on another project called A Sharp Scratch, a booklet depicting Hannah's own journey with breast cancer.
For more information contact Eileen by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Hannah at email@example.com.