Last week we launched the latest Shutter Hub exhibition, BRIGHT, in the Atrium Gallery at St James’s Institute of Oncology, Leeds.
It was always our goal to create an exhibition that could add colour and light to what might not be such a bright day for it’s viewers, and we were hopeful that we could have some kind of impact, however small.
But, already, it’s the stories that have come to light – the photographers who’ve taken part because they themselves have had treatment at St James’s, or someone in their family has. The stories of sadness, but also of hope. It’s something really special, and we had no idea of the scale of it.
At the private view for BRIGHT, on Thursday 4th August, in the space of a few hours, we discovered so much.
We spoke to photographers and guests, watched people moving through the space, stopping to hone in on one or two images before moving on. Some people stayed for longer, a family stopped so their little children could talk to us (a distraction – they were after the jelly babies!) a group of ladies who were there to present a cheque to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal, recognised and knew some of the people in Jonathan Turners wonderful portraits. There was such a feeling of energy, involvement and togetherness.
So much happened in such a short space of time. What could be happening right now?
Before the private view we received an email about a sale. Nothing unusual there, we thought, until we read on. It was for this piece above, Put the Needle on the Pink, by Maria Spadafora.
“I was in on Monday for breast cancer treatment. I'm in a wheelchair at the moment and my husband pushed me on the upper level of the wing. I happened to glance at the exhibition but obviously it's a fair distance away. The pink colour really caught my eye and I made a mental note to go and look at the artwork as we often do.
Monday I was tired I forgot and we left.
Yesterday I mentioned it to my husband, so on the way out we went to look at what had originally caught my eye from such a distance away.
When we got up close we couldn't believe our eyes. The work couldn't be more perfect for us. Prior to getting my diagnosis, we ran a professional recording studio. So the needle sitting in the groove, perfect.
So as well as being an amazing piece of artwork, it has a special relevance to us!”
The story made us feel that we’d achieved our goals with this exhibition before it had even opened!
And if all that can happen in just a few days, what can we do within the 84 days that the exhibition is open?
Please take the time to visit the exhibition if you can, and if you can’t, please do keep telling people about it. It’s been lovely to see blog posts popping up already about the BRIGHT exhibition, like this one from exhibitor Nicola Jayne Maskrey, and it would be great to see more.
25% from all sales will be donated to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal.
BRIGHT continues until 26th October 2016, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at The St James’s Institute of Oncology, Bexley Wing, St James University Hospital, Leeds.