The Proggy Project: Radiotherapy at the NCCC

Room for You has a long association with proggy rug making, a North East tradition that strikes a chord with patients and their families. (See the hook into the past project.)  The sight of a rug frame and cover the structural columns in the waiting area with proggy rug panels. Worked on hessian stretched over old wooden picture frames, the panels are quick to complete and easy to handle. Participants could choose to complete a section or colour so that on completion they could say ‘I did that!’ Designs were varied; abstract, floral, colourful. One features the iconic ‘Ziggy Stardust’ flash. Another shows the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. She was known for her powerful artworks exploring her own life and health and so she seemed a fitting subject for art in the Radiotherapy department. In making the panel, conversations arose on the life of the artist, the way art could help us cope with pain and discomfort, other strategies that patients used to help them get through their treatment. As always with proggy projects, participants also discussed their family’s involvement with rug making, remembering who made the tools and frames, what garments were cut up to use and what happened in the ‘life cycle’ of the rugs themselves.

Room for You 
Room 15, Floor 2, 
Commercial Union House, 
39 Pilgrim Street, 
Newcastle Upon Tyne, 
NE1 6QE

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