“Each month in Scotland, heart attacks are responsible for 560 deaths and 2100 hospital admissions”

British Heart Foundation Statistics Feb 2018

You are probably aware, that there are areas of Scotland, where the premature death rates from Heart Disease are almost double the national average. What isn’t so well known, is that many people, particularly women, don’t recognise the symptoms of a heart attack and even those that do, many will still delay getting help. What they don’t realise, is that with each minute they wait, the likelihood of irreversible damage to their heart muscle is increased. Cardiologists refer to this as Time Is Muscle. The sooner you get treatment, the less heart muscle is damaged and the better your outcome!

“Are you sure you would recognise the symptoms of a heart attack? 
What if there was no arm pain and it just felt similar to indigestion, 
or a bad pain in the jaw, would you still know? 
How long would you put off calling for help?”

My heart attack was the classic, crushing pain across the chest, pain down the arm and then feeling sick, and yet I still waited almost 20 minutes before getting help. I was lucky. However, while recovering in hospital I spoke to others that weren’t so lucky. Where my heart attack was a scream, theirs was a whimper. And that is worse.  Because they waited, they didn’t want to be a bother. Thinking it would go away, they waited not just minutes, but hours, and in one case days. It was while listening to a consultant explain to a fellow patient, that because of his long delay in getting treatment, the damage to his heart muscle was not going to get any better, that I decided I needed to do something. But what?

“In Scotland, three times as many women die from a heart attack, as die from breast cancer.”

British Heart Foundation Statistics Feb 2018

My In The Broken Places photographic series is a personal response to my heart attack, but that by itself can’t make a difference. No, a much larger, more collaborative, public participation project that can achieve lots of publicity, can travel to a wide range of venues across Scotland and can act as a focus for community outreach by artists, clinicians and rehab groups, providing workshops, talks and opportunities to share knowledge and personal experiences through art making and participation in major art competitions organised and run by major arts organisations. And already, the Society of Scottish Artists, Visual Arts Scotland and Shutter Hub have agreed to help. 

To put it simply, what is planned is to promote awareness of heart problems through art and to achieve this, I need your help.


How you can help

The Digital Learning Foundation charity will shortly be making an application for funding to Creative Scotland, but to give us the best chance possible of being successful, we are trying to find over £10,000 from other sources of funding and in-kind donations and your support could make all the difference. We would like to try and raise £1,000 through this campaign to show that we also have public support for the project, so please give what you can, even £1, as numbers of donations, is more important than amount raised. To donate please go to our Wonderful.org fundraising page : 


We are using Wonderful.org as they are the only fundraising platform, where every penny donated, goes to the cause.

If you can, please share your support on social media using #TimeIsMuscle and #HeartAwareThroughArt and help us exceed our goal!

We would also love to hear from you if you are :

• An artist, in any discipline, that has a personal experience of heart disease, or has an idea for a heart themed project, or in providing heart themed art workshops for all ages, or helping in so many ways….

• A medical researcher, heart attack survivor, health professional, or educator and would like be involved in a collaboration with an artist, or in speaking at events, or hosting workshops and talks, or just being involved.

• A Scottish gallery, science, medical, retail or community space that can offer a space for the exhibition, talks, workshops and other activities…

• An organisation, or know an organisation, that might consider sponsoring or providing an in-kind donation to this project then please contact phil@digitallearningfoundation.org as soon as possible.

Thank you.

To register your interest either use the contact sheet on this site or email phil@digitallearningfoundation.org with Time Is Muscle in the subject line.


Heart Resources 

We will be making use of the many resources provided by the British Heart Foundation and using their various channels to reach as many people as possible. In return, we will be doing everything we can to support them, so please do consider making a donation to them also. 

Symptoms of a Heart Attack : https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/heart-attack

Signs & Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women : https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/heart-attack/women-and-heart-attacks

British Heart Foundation heart attack video :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqXYNT_Bj4E

British Heart Foundation Statistics : https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/our-research/heart-statistics

Thank you for taking the time to read this, around 70 people will have a heart attack today in Scotland, your actions could help those in the future have a better outcome.

Exhibitions / Events :

Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh ( 7- 23 Sept 2018) 
This first solo exhibition of the In The Broken Places series had already been offered prior to this larger Time Is Muscle project coming together and so is being treated as an opportunity to develop and promote support for the larger project. 

You can see In The Broken Places here : https://philipjlavery.com/projects/in_the_broken_places/

A further three venues for the Time Is Muscle project are already on board and are :

Golden Jubilee National Hospital,
Barony Arts Centre, West Kilbride
Glasgow Science Centre

And, with funding, a further ten events will be organised to run in a mix of art, science, medical, retail and community spaces the length and breadth of Scotland over the next three years. The more funding we can raise, the more events we can do, and so many more people will be better informed.

# All funds raised through this campaign will be used by the DLF solely for the Time Is Muscle project events. If for any reason that isn’t possible, the funds raised will be donated to the British Heart Foundation

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