In 2019 Caring Matters Now launched a photographic series featuring 30 inspiring individuals affected by Congenital Melanocytic Naevi (CMN) from 5 continents, representing 13 countries. The series of images, entitled HOW DO YOU C ME NOW? were exhibited for 12 days in central London at the gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf.
The project began in 2016 when the Caring Matters Now Board of Trustees set out on a mission to raise global awareness of CMN by celebrating the lives and beauty of those living with CMN. Due to the dedication and support of so many, our dream became a reality!
The press coverage launched on Monday 11th March with features on BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Channel 5 News, ITV News, LBC Radio, Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 1. Following the initial UK exposure, the coverage started reaching international levels, with the charity receiving press enquiries from media outlets in Germany, France, Norway, Russia, Taiwan, South America, and the United States. The global media coverage has been phenomenal!
At the same time as the press coverage launching, we further raised the profile of the exhibition through poster advertisements across the capital, including featuring on a huge digital billboard overlooking Waterloo Bridge. The billboard featured our exhibition posters for 2 whole weeks!
On Wednesday 13th March, we held our special exhibition launch event at the gallery. Those in attendance were the inspirational photographed participants and their families, Brock Elbank and his family, the charity Board of Trustees and special guests who have supported us in this 3-year project.
The gallery doors opened to the general public on Thursday 14th March and we welcomed over 8,000 visitors to the gallery over the 10-day period. The response from the public has been phenomenal, with the charity receiving emails and social media messages from individuals worldwide. The exhibition has inspired so many to reach out to us!
During the 12-day exhibition we measured the impact on gallery visitors, and we found:
- 86% of the general public felt more accepting of visible difference.
- 91% of the general public felt more understanding of those living with a visible difference.
- 93% of the general public felt people with visible differences are beautiful.
We also measure the impact on those photographed for the exhibition series, and we found:
- 100% of photographed participants said the photoshoot was a positive experience, with 93% expressing it was a very positive experience.
- Before the participants had their portrait photographs taken, over one third of them said they would always consider what clothes to wear in relation to their CMN. After the exhibition not one participant said they would continue to always consider their CMN when choosing what to wear – an empowering shift in their thinking.
- After the photographic series, 100% of the participants’ parents agreed their child felt content and happy in their skin. This is double the number than before they had taken part in the photographic exhibition project.