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Breast Cancer Now creates emotive ‘Gallery of Hope’ powered by AI

Gallery of Hope, the exhibition of memories yet to be made, will be launched on 13 March by leading breast cancer research and support charity, Breast Cancer Now, at the Saatchi Gallery and online. Made in collaboration with 10 people living with incurable secondary breast cancer, this exhibition reminds us of the true value of time. Combining AI and photography, the exhibition shares snapshots of future moments that these people living with the disease hope to see with more time. Time that only research can offer.

The exhibition is a powerful reminder of the significance of Breast Cancer Now’s research into secondary breast cancer which could lead to more treatment options to help people extend their lives. Ultimately buying people with secondary breast cancer the one thing they so desperately need – time.

There are currently an estimated 61,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. Incurable secondary breast cancer occurs when cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body, making the disease treatable, but incurable. Breast Cancer Now currently funds more than £5.3 million worth of research to improve treatments, care, and services for people affected by secondary breast cancer and to date has invested around £284 million in world class breast cancer research.

The AI-generated works in the gallery are based on original portraits taken by renowned photographer Jillian Edelstein(Nelson Mandela; Catherine, Princess of Wales; Kate Moss), who has over 100 works in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. By training AI models specifically on images shot by Edelstein, the team have generated unique and imagined images that retain Jillian’s style as well as crucial details such as poses, facial expressions and likeness in future images which could have been captured by Jillian herself.

Alongside each of the unique perspectives shown in the gallery, attendees will be able to scan a QR code to learn more about the individual’s personal experiences and what their depicted future moment of hope means to them.

Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “For people living with secondary breast cancer, the prospect of missing future precious moments is agonising. The ‘Gallery of Hope’ shines a much-needed spotlight on the realities of living with secondary breast cancer, through people sharing their own experiences and future moments they hope to see. This exhibition hits home just how much more needs to be done for the estimated 61,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK, and the vital role of research in bringing hope – and indeed time – so that people with the disease live to see the future moments that matter so much to them. This powerful exhibition uses AI to look towards a hopeful future. AI is changing the world in countless ways, from assisting our research into future treatments to changing the way we can visualise the world as shown in the Gallery of Hope.

Over £5.3million worth of research is happening right now to help us improve treatments, care and services for those affected by secondary breast cancer. We have also worked to prevent more people developing secondary breast cancer – in March 2023, our scientists uncovered a way in which breast cancer cells ‘wake up’ and form secondary tumours. We now hope to create treatments targeting this ‘reawakening mechanism’ to stop secondary tumours from developing, but we need to do more to make moments of hope for the future a reality for those living with this incurable disease.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the 10 men and women who we have worked in collaboration with us, helping us shine a light on secondary breast cancer and the urgent need for more research, informing every stage of development of this moving exhibition – we simply couldn’t have done this without them. If anyone has been affected by the ‘Gallery of Hope’ and would like to speak to someone, our expert nurses are ready to talk to you via our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”

The ‘Gallery of Hope’ will be open to the public in Gallery 3 at the Saatchi Gallery from Wednesday 13 – Thursday 14 March .

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