Twist Out Cancer is a non-profit dedicated to supporting cancer survivors and their loved ones through creative arts programming. The organization matches artists with those touched by cancer for a 4-month long mentorship during which the pair collaboratively creates a work of art inspired by the participant’s cancer journey.
This year, as part of the organization’s 10th anniversary, partner Giorgia Lupi and her team were asked to design a custom data visualization that would illuminate Twist Out Cancer’s impact over the last decade. The visualization is featured in a commemorative book, “Brushes With Cancer,” and a new art exhibition of the same name at the popular WNDR Museum in Chicago, an interactive museum space and multisensory showcase of art and technology.
Lupi’s piece, done pro bono, turns the collaborations between artists and participants into actual brush strokes sweeping across the page. Within each stroke, the names of those matched together are recorded with quotes from their experiences overlaid in a second layer. The interwoven, slightly imperfect brush strokes come together to form a tapestry of connection and support—a visual representation of Twist Out Cancer’s mission.
Lupi and her team worked closely with Jenna Benn Shersher, Twist Out Cancer’s Founder and CEO, to gather and clean the dataset that would eventually become the foundation for the visualization. As part of the data research process, the team identified 278 collaborations to feature. Colors were used to represent the type of participant: artist, previvor, survivor, or caregiver.
The design team also worked with the WNDR Museum to adapt the two dimensional dataviz into a three dimensional art piece covering walls, floors, and even door knobs. To create an immersive experience for viewers, the design team changed the background of the piece to black and projected quotes onto the wall to create a layered effect.