Susannah Goulding

Learning for Health award


Learning for Health Award

Susannah’s world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with incurable metastatic cancer. Determined not to let her diagnosis control her, Susannah enrolled in the Contemporary Practice and Developing Art Practice courses at City Lit, using what she learned to explore her relationship with cancer.

“When I was first diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, I lost my job, my sense of identity and my sense of self. All that lay ahead was uncertainty.

“The courses I’ve taken at City Lit have been completely and utterly life changing. I found a voice by looking at the realities of cancer. I realised that my motivation was to create a visual language that talked about cancer in a much more honest, aesthetic way. Over four years, City Lit’s amazing art and theory courses provided the creative space, inspiration, guidance, confidence and support to facilitate this.

“I’ve also learned the benefits of creativity for wellbeing. There’s a saying that ‘creativity cannot cure, but it can heal’ and that’s really what my learning has given me.

I hope that by sharing my work, I will open meaningful discussions about the human impact of living with a pervasive disease.  I hope that they are encouraged to explore their own voice, feelings and perceptions of cancer, illness and mental health. I know now that I am no longer a victim, but an artist with purpose.”

Ian Tucknott at City Lit said: “There’s no question that Susannah is a remarkable learner, she’s also a remarkable person. She became an inspiring beacon of resilience, leaving both fellow students and tutors in awe of her dedication and passion for art. Her journey during her time at City Lit has touched the lives of those around her, inspiring them to embrace the healing potential of their own creative practice.”