Friday, July 27, 2007

Breast Cancer, The Indestructible Bust and an Artist's Tribute to his Mother

When I came across Toby Jones and his work on Youtube I was moved by the sensitivity of this young artist and son who had coped with the loss of his mother to breast cancer through his artistic process and powerful work. In a statement about the resiliency, beauty and strength of human beings, Toby Jones creates "indestructible breasts in a metaphorical fight against breast cancer."

I asked Toby if I might share his work with you at "Crossing Borders" and he willingly agreed.

Toby's Story

"My mother died of metastasized breast cancer in February of 2001 after valiantly struggling with the disease for five years. After her death, in the years that followed, a large part of coping with the emptiness in my life was my art. I first started what I now call the "Fiberglass Busts Project" driven by subconscious motives I wouldn't understand until much later. It began from a need to create something out of the emptiness in my life, a time consuming project to fill my days with errands and give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning."

"Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs anyone could undertake-- she came to understand that all mothers, coming from a place of love for their children wished they could be better... and that all mothers do the best they can. They learn and love and grow and make it up as they go along if they have to. My mother was not Martha Stewart or Julia Child-- but to this day, I realized she taught me lessons that I have used every day in life. She taught me in showing me the things that she knew and in allowing me to do the things she could not.
She never expected me to be anything but what I was, and never gave me a reason to lie. She never withheld her approval. She is the mother I asked God for. She will always be with me.
I Love You Mom. " Toby.

"It all became clear to me, one morning as I labored in my garage with a power sander, trying to smooth out the bondo. With beads of sweat trickling down into my eyes, I started to wonder what exactly was I doing? This sculpture is way too thick! Why the ballistics grade fabric? Why the over kill? It finally dawned on me what my subconscious motive was. I was attempting to create breasts that were indestructible. This was the gift I wanted to give to my mother and my metaphorical fight against breast cancer. This insight was the catalyst I needed to move forward. I envisioned dozens of sculptures, auctioned off for Breast Cancer Charities. Building Breasts Impervious To would be a tribute to mother. "

See Youtube Video about Toby Jones, Breast Cancer Art Project
TV Report Ch. 11 NEWS
and other Press stories:

More about Toby Jones and his work:

"Fifty percent of sales generated from my work has been donated to organizations that focus on breast cancer awareness, outreach and hospice care. "