By the time breasts become a national topic later this year, Keri Bird is hoping body casts she has sculpted will be displayed in venues throughout Bury St Edmunds.
The 26-year-old, who owns Bury-based Birds Body Casting, wants to realise an ambitious project aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer - with the help of people who have been affected by the disease.
Inspired by the success of The Keep A Breast Foundation in America, Keri hopes to capture the beauty of people’s breasts in plaster - be it after a mastectomy, breast reconstructive surgery or simply after having had a breast scare.
“It’s about raising awareness of breast cancer and how to examine yourselves, but also to say ‘this is my body, this is what it looks like now and it’s still beautiful,’” said Keri.
Local artists will then be asked to decorate the casts, to be displayed in business venues around Bury as unique conversation starters during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Eventually, Keri hopes to auction them to raise money for charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
She said ‘I’m really excited to use art and the beauty of the human body to raise awareness of breast cancer.
“I’m lucky, through my life casting business I get the opportunity to meet some amazing people, and I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity for people who have been or are affected by breast cancer to help raise awareness and money.”
Kerry Farrant is among women interested in the project. She was diagnosed with breast cancer four and a half years ago, at the age of 28, while she was around three months pregnant with her daughter, Esmay.
As a survivor who has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she is passionate about raising awareness.
She said: “I don’t love the fact that I’ve had cancer but I do love what it has given me in my life. I feel like I’ve got something I can share with all my friends, to make them check their boobs. I’m proof it can happen to young women. With me it was just bad luck.”
She added: “I want to get the boobs out there and show women it doesn’t have to be scary. I know it can be really upsetting but to know you can look good after is a great relief, I think, to a woman who hasn’t gone through it yet.”
All casting takes place in the comfort of your own home. Those taking part can remain anonymous and no photography is necessary.
If you are interested in getting involved, as a model, artist or business, call Keri on 07500 045009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org