Designer and community artist Andrew Crummy, MBE, dealt with his cancer diagnosis in the only way he knew how. He drew sketches to express his feelings.
Once he had completed his treatment his drawings were brought to life in the Cancer Tapestry by some of the stitchers who had already worked with him on the Prestonpans Tapestry and the Great Tapestry of Scotland which were based on his designs.
Four of the ten panels of the Cancer Tapestry were on display in Edinburgh at the weekend and the film about it was shown to an invited audience and afterwards to members of the public.
During the Covid lockdown Heather Swinson completed the first panel, which was presented to the Scottish Health Secretary Jean Freeman to put in the final stitch. This panel tells many stories and has involved many people including doctors, nurses, etc. Jo Allen Heather’s daughter made a beautiful film to tell its story. At present there are 10 panels up and running and I have completed three paintings based on my experience. We have panels in Walton on Thames, Glasgow, Dundee, Dunblane, East Lothian and Leeds. Two panels being designed by a Junior Doctor. And hoping to expand to create a MacMillan Cancer Support Panel. It is hoped to further expand the project gathering more stories about cancer.
The aim is to create a Cancer Tapestry that will show a 1000 stories of cancer. To show not only science behind cancer care and the process most cancer patients receive, but the human side of cancer treatment. The compassion and caring that comes not only from doctors, nurses and staff, but from family, friends and community.
Jon Gill, documentary maker explained how he got involved. He said: “As soon as I heard Andrew’s story I just had to tell it. And it became so much more than I could have imagined at the beginning. What’s remarkable is that until now the stories in Andrew’s tapestries have been geographical… whereas The Cancer Tapestry is universal.”
For a limited time you can watch it on YouTube below: