Taking inspiration from her personal experience, Lorna Jappy hopes her Light The North lighthouse will remind visitors that they are never alone – even though they may feel lonely and isolated when someone they love is battling cancer.
Lorna said her husband Chris, who had to deal with a cancer diagnosis, was the driving force, inspiration and the main reason she started taking part in sculpture trails.
She said: “I previously did two other art sculpture trails – Friends of Anchor 20for20 and also the Oor Wullie one.
“My husband had cancer and while he was in hospital, the Anchor trail was being launched and they were looking for artists. And it was really my husband who encouraged me to submit a design. He was the one who wanted me to do it.”
Taking part in Anchor 20for20 and Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail
Following the success of her Anchor sculpture – with her husband even having Lorna’s design tattooed on his leg – the talented artist also decided to take part in Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail. And when she found out Clan was organising the Light The North lighthouse trail, she knew she wanted to be part of it.
“When I saw the Clan trail, I thought… there’s a cancer link in our family, so I wanted to submit a design for it. Also, I’m from Lossiemouth originally – which has a lighthouse – so I wanted to create a design focusing on guiding stars,” said Lorna.
From her personal experience, night-time can be especially lonely when someone you love is battling cancer. Lorna says that looking up at the night sky can provide comfort and make people feel like they’re not alone – and that’s exactly the message she wanted to convey through her Light The North artwork.
She said: “When Chris was in hospital, sometimes I would be there really late at night. His ward was really quite high up, we were often looking up at the sky and stars and I thought that really linked well with the charity too – since they are a beacon for people.”
See Lorna Jappy’s Guiding Stars lighthouse at the beach
Lorna’s lighthouse titled Guiding Stars is located at Don Mouth on Beach Esplanade. The artist said she often goes on walks there, so she was delighted to see her finished lighthouse in location with her friends and family members whose names are featured on the lighthouse.
She added: “When I first went to visit the lighthouse, it was just being delivered and there was a mum and a little boy who just ran up to the lighthouse and gave it a big hug and that was so lovely and to me, that sums up Clan and what the charity is about.”
Lorna was thrilled to see so many other “bright lighthouses” appearing in the north-east and beyond.
She said: “It’s so good for Aberdeen. I think that especially now – during the pandemic – it’s so nice to have something like this.”
Opportunity to talk about cancer in different way
In addition, Manor Park School, where Lorna works, also designed a little lighthouse which is part of the school and community group lighthouse trail.
The artist also thinks the lighthouse trail is also a good opportunity for people to talk about cancer in a different way.
“People often shy away and don’t want to talk about it – it’s quite emotional, but I think the lighthouse trail gives it a different spin,” said Lorna.
“A lot of people have been affected by cancer so it’s a good opportunity to raise the profile of the charity as well. Clan is doing a wonderful job and they’re for everyone – not just patients, but also their friends and family who often don’t know what to say.”