Mt Eden x Laken Whitecliffe collab for breast cancer
Auckland DJ Mt Eden (Jesse Cooper) and artist Laken Whitecliffe have teamed up to create a music video and artwork for a cause close to their hearts.
Laken has chosen to support Breast Cancer Foundation NZ in the first of his Colours for Causes series, where he creates artwork for charity in response to music. The pair, who are childhood friends, have produced a video of Laken painting a 5.4 by 3.9 metre mural on canvas while Jesse plays a 45-minute set.
The artwork was inspired by Jesse’s wife Talia, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. She was 30 years old at the time, and their son Navy was just 10 weeks old. The mural, painted in pink to represent Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, depicts Navy walking through a surrealist landscape guided by a whale and mountains.
The music video has just been released on Mt Eden’s YouTube channel and encourages viewers to donate to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. Laken is also planning to auction the mural in the new year, with all proceeds being donated to the charity.
Laken Whitecliffe said: “After seeing the emotional hardships Talia experienced when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I reached out to Jesse with an idea of how we could use our creative relationship to help people like Talia in their time of need.
“I wanted invoke synaesthesia to express the connection between music and visual experience, in response to Jesse’s set. The result was an amalgamation of the emotions tied to those affected by breast cancer. Kids like Navy don’t have to walk alone thanks to the incredible efforts of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ to stop women dying of breast cancer. Whales embody majestic brilliance and sacred protection, while the mountains symbolise what we must climb to overcome the trauma of illness, and also references Mt Eden’s namesake.”
Ah-Leen Rayner, chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, said: “We’re really touched by Laken and Jesse’s efforts to raise vital funds and awareness for us. Around 3,500 Kiwi women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and nearly 400 of them will be under 45.
“Breast cancer is highly survivable when it’s diagnosed early and we encourage women from the age of 20 to start self-checking and recognising the signs and symptoms. The funds raised from this amazing project will help us to spread these vital messages through our education and awareness programmes. They’ll also go towards ground-breaking research and supporting patients and their whānau through their breast cancer journeys.”
Donations can be made here.