"Renewal" Tote Bag
"Renewal" Tote Bag
Artist: Anna Feneis
Inspiration: Heather Rath Brown
Anna Feneis' Artist Statement:
The first time I met Heather, she showed me a picture that sucked the air out of me completely. In it, Heather stands with her eyes closed. She holds open a pale pink robe with her bare chest exposed. Her breasts were recently removed and all that remains are two strips of medical tape covering the incisions. Ink marks show where the surgeons mapped out the procedure. Bruising blankets her skin and lines cross over her midsection where they tightly wrapped her broken body after surgery. Dark circles rim her eyes and she has no hair. I could see, without question, that this was a woman who had just endured the worst.
I spent a lot of time analyzing this photo throughout my journey with Heather. The more I looked at it, beyond the trauma, I saw a woman reborn. Henna covers her forehead and scalp. Relief plays at the curl of her lips. She had lost parts of her, but Heather makes beauty out of challenges. When I think of her, colors flood my mind from all directions. They blur, blend, and overlap, creating their own unique sections of the painting. The composition is bold, passionate, and fluid – like Heather. And just like life—sometimes the painting can get a little messy. Heather didn’t shy away from showing me her scars. It is only right her painting should be daring enough to show the same deep vulnerability.
The trauma of cancer stays with you forever. Thanks to Brushes With Cancer, I get to turn Heather's struggle into beauty.
Heather Rath Brown's Twist On Cancer:
I was diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 32. My son was 11 months old and I was forced to abruptly end breastfeeding him. One week after diagnosis, I found out that I was pregnant. My treatment plan was revised to effectively treat me while keeping the baby safe. We were excited about welcoming a new baby. A few days later, I miscarried. Layering on the trauma, I underwent four months of dose-dense chemotherapy and later had a radical double mastectomy. Cancer completely shattered my world. Through this tragedy, I learned a lot about myself... that no matter what, I can always find something to celebrate. I hosted a head-shaving party after starting chemo, I had an artist create a henna painting on my bald head, I planned a "Boob-voyage" party to say farewell to my breasts before losing them, I participated in a Polar Plunge dressed as Wonder Woman to celebrate the end of treatment. Even in the darkest moments, there can be light if you allow it - you can be the light.
Our tote bags are perfect to have on hand for any occasion. The cotton web handles feature double stitched seams for durability. Dry clean or spot clean only.