Cate Bartram is a qualified breastfeeding counsellor and breast cancer educator who makes products celebrating boobs. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she explains why she is launching a collective art piece to raise awareness about breast health – and how Tate Modern is her ultimate goal
Breastfeeding counsellor and breast cancer educator Cate Bartram has started a nationwide movement – and it involves a ‘mass boob print art piece’. Every year, around 11,500 women and 85 men die from breast cancer in the UK – that’s nearly 1,000 deaths each month, 31 each day or one every 45 minutes. With that in mind, Cate, founder of Suffolk-based BooBee Collective, had the idea to use art to bring a visible element to October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. The aim of ‘Splat your Bap’ is to help highlight the importance of breast health and to reduce the stigma around breasts, breast cancer and breast feeding.
The art piece showcases multiple breast prints supplied by people from all over the UK. Each one will be different and beautiful in their own way. Once people take part in the initiative, Cate sends a colourful kit with instructions on how to create your art piece and send it back to her.
Her small business has been selling ‘splat your bap’ kits for a little while, but she says: ‘I really wanted to use this quirky and fun way of celebrating our bodies to make more of an impact. The idea of doing a large ‘splat your bap’ piece came to me one day and I had the idea of getting 25 people to do it, never dreaming that it would be so popular, and we’d have so many wonderful people wanting to take part.’
Now, she adds: ‘We are aiming for at least 100 unique boob prints (we’ve reached 70 so far) with the aim to get the piece exhibited in galleries around the country, with Tate Modern as my main goal.’
Cate, who lives in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, is mostly self-funding the project by creating boob print kits that she has been sending out in the post this month, breast cancer awareness month. ‘I have started a GoFundMe page to help cover some of the costs and this has helped a little, but the kits work out at about £15 each for me.
‘Any funds I make in addition will all go to breast cancer charities. The kit I’ve created makes it really easy and accessible for all women/men, LGBTQ+ communities, military, cancer sufferers and breast/chest feeding parents to splat their baps and return the prints to me to incorporate into the piece. I also ask for each participant to write a little about themselves that I can include in an accompanying piece/booklet, so each splat represents the person behind it.
‘It’s not entirely about the money aspect as we want this piece to have longevity, as breast health isn’t just about the month of October, it’s all year round. I’m doing this to help highlight the need for more research, funding and awareness to ensure more people are educated on how to check their breasts, by starting conversations and breaking down barriers.’
As a qualified breastfeeding counsellor and breast cancer educator, she adds: ‘I wanted to use my knowledge for widespread good.’
If you want to Splat your Bap, visit @boo.bee.co on Instagram. To donate to the Fundraiser by Cate Bartram: BooBeeCo’s breast health awareness art piece, visit gofundme.com. For more information, visit BooBee Co.