Strule Arts Centre hosts award winning and thought-provoking exhibition

3rd January 2023

Seen to be Heard photo

Strule Arts Centre, Omagh is delighted to host the ‘Belfast Exposed Seen To Be Heard Touring Exhibition by Jennifer Willis’.

This ground-breaking photographic exhibition reflects the struggles and courage of a group of women who are living daily with a Secondary Breast Cancer diagnosis. This is an incurable form of breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body.

The exhibition features the stories of women in Northern Ireland who are united in a shared Secondary Breast Cancer diagnosis and their passion to educate the public on the need to transform secondary cancer care services. Willis developed a close bond with the women and made her studio a safe and welcoming place where they could come together. This helped to ensure empathy and understanding were at the heart of her work.

Seen To Be Heard was first shown in April – May 2022 at Belfast Exposed Photographic Centre. Having produced the exhibition and hosted a public programme of events to accompany it, Belfast Exposed is now producing and supporting the exhibition’s tour throughout 2023.

The exhibition, alongside the wider Seen To Be Heard campaign, has already had an impact in both raising awareness and driving change. In August 2022, it was announced that Cancer Focus NI would fund a dedicated audit of secondary cancer services in Northern Ireland ‘As a direct result of the SEEN TO BE HEARD Campaign…’.

Speaking about the exhibition, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said:

“I am delighted that Strule Arts Centre is hosting this exhibition, ‘Seen to be Heard’.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is life-changing for the individual and their families.  Access to the necessary care and treatment is critical.

I commend Jennifer and all those involved for having the courage and inspiration to create this exhibition in the midst of incredible adversity.

I am confident that this exhibition will make a difference in securing a transformation of Secondary Cancer Care Services. It will also make a difference to anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis to let them know they are not alone and support is available.

I would encourage everyone to come and view this exhibition while it is in Strule Arts Centre – it has to be seen to be heard.”

Deirdre Robb, Director of Belfast Exposed, said:

“We are thrilled to see the Seen To Be Heard Touring Exhibition visit Omagh and Strule Art Centre. This important exhibition is part of a vital campaign run by Seen To Be Heard and we welcome the opportunity for it to be experienced by a wider audience as part of its tour. Jennifer Willis’s compassionate, honest portraits tell a deeply emotive story of women facing enormous adversity, but still fighting for a better future. We are immensely proud to be part of her work”.

This thought-provoking exhibition tells the stories and campaign through photography and film and it will be on display in Strule Arts Centre from 05 to 28 January 2023.