To mark October as the breast cancer awareness month and raise funds for patients’ treatments, a gallery here will exhibit and sell artwork-printed carpets, gallerist-doctor Tarana Khubchandani said. Titled “cARTpet”, the event will put out hand-woven and tufted carpets reproduced from key artworks of 22 renowned Indian artists, including S.H. Raza, Satish Gujral, Thota Vaikuntam, Paresh Maity and Ram Kumar.
The exhibition and sale, from October 22 to November 1, will culminate her and curator Brinda Miller’s two years of art collection work. The exhibition preview on October 21 will also host an awareness session where doctors and women could converse about breast cancer.
Khubchandani, a breast cancer survivor herself, narrates a fascinating backstory behind the carpet exhibition. “I started by NGO Passages in 1998, the core motivation behind which was the realisation that when a woman at home falls sick, everything collapses around her.
“We started addressing women’s issues as an awareness platform,” the oral surgeon told IANS. However, even for a medical practitioner, the dearth of conversations around breast cancer was alarming.
“There wasn’t one other person in my age group who I could ask for guidance,” Khubchandani said, adding that the NGO’s focus soon shifted to raising awareness about breast cancer. “I started looking out for ways how women can be empowered. I also penned a helpbook “Whispering Hope” for those diagnosed with it. It touches on the process of treatment, nutrition, and finding courage,” she said.
The NGO, which pays for the treatment of many cancer patients, soon felt the need for funding, leading to the set-up of Mumbai-based gallery, Art and Soul in 2003. Now most of the fundraising comes from art events.