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Liverpool’s One Tit Wonder

Liverpool’s streets will be home to a series of posters depicting a breast cancer survivor’s unreconstructed body this month ahead of International Women’s Day (8th March 2020). The 50 posters, which will be dotted around Liverpool City Centre and Edge Hill, are by artist Claire Collison, and have been designed to help provide women facing the tough decision about whether or not to have reconstructive surgery with choices –

‘You’d never know that only 30% of women who have mastectomies actually get reconstruction,’ Claire says. ‘I wanted to raise awareness that there are a lot of women out there who look like me, and that we’ve nothing to be ashamed of.’

Working with Metal in Liverpool with the support of their Time & Space residency programme, Claire organised a series of events in 2019, including a life modelling performance, Truth Is Beauty, about the invisibility of women who, like her, choose not to have reconstructive surgery, post mastectomy. The drawings featured in the posters were made during this event, where participants ranged from professional artists to those with experience of breast cancer. ‘I believe we’re less afraid of things once we’ve seen them,’ Claire says. ‘I provided women with the opportunity to have a really good look at something which even amongst ourselves is usually hidden.’

Claire has used her own body in her arts practice for 30 years, but after her mastectomy in 2014, she began to make work about the lack visibility in society of what she describes as the “One Tit Club” – a phrase that appears in the posters, alongside other deliberately pro-vocative words from Claire’s performance ‘JUGS’, ‘WONKY REVOLUTION’, and ‘ALL THE SINGLE-BREASTED LADIES’, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Beyonce hit song.

“The posters are designed to provoke a conversation, to raise an eyebrow, and maybe a smile,’ Claire says. ‘That’s nothing new in Liverpool, of course. Yoko Ono’s “My Mommy was beautiful”, part of Liverpool Biennial in 2004, depicted breasts and nipples in public spaces and caused all kinds of conversations. I hope that other people affected by breast cancer will recognise a kindred spirit and feel part of a wider community”.

This fly poster campaign launches Claire’s website clairecollison.com and is the final flourish of Claire’s ACE/Lottery funded and Big Draw supported project, which ends on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2020.

Claire invites anyone who spots the posters to take pictures of them with their comments, and post them on social media, tagging Claire @clairecollison1 (Twitter) and @adalodge (Instagram) including any of the hashtags –

#truthisbeauty, #unreconstructed #mastectomy #nothingtohide #lifeaftercancer

They will then be reposted onto her instagram feed and fed onto her website clairecollison.com where the entire Truth is Beauty project is documented.

Liverpool’s One Tit Wonder