Artists & Artworks that inspire us
We are collating an A to Z list of artists and art works we've found exploring chronic pain and illness, healthcare, and shifting relationships with our bodies.
Are we missing your art? If you or creatives you know would like to be featured, please feel welcome to reach out.
Painter (She/her) - “But, beyond shaping her career, endometriosis has a profound impact on her creative style and artistic process too. Although her art covers many themes unrelated to the condition including sexual harassment, colonialism, and her Ghanian roots, even here the relationship to her body that her diagnosis helped create informs her work.”
Bristol-based wool shop and community, led by crafter Kim. "The shop and Kim’s personal social media (instagram and youtube mostly) attract many other crafty people with hidden disabilities and illnesses. It’s a place to feel safe, hold something that been created with love, and remind yourself that we are all striving to be positive and productive members of society."
Birth Control Your Own Adventure
Screen and Video
Visual essay by Signha Agha "A sparklingly cutting film featuring a cast of sinister Icelandic sheep, clumsy endives and an OB-GYN who talks with the voice of a robot. Agha makes insightful and snark use of these tools to chronicle the epic saga of her struggle with the side effects of birth control medication." - The New York Times
Imani The Author
Imani is an incredible young writer based in WA who recognised a gap in representation for kids with Elhers Danlos Syndrome and chronic illnesses. At just 12 years old, they wrote and self-published their first work 'Mysteries of Maybelle' which is available for $12 with profits donated to chronic illness charities each month. Their books are available via their website.
Michelle Vine is an installation, performance, and photo media artist. "In my studio practice I am fascinated by how allowing touch, and making works specifically to be touched, adds to the experience of installation art. My interest in touch and human sensory experience grew from lived experience of chronic illness."
Written by Leah Filley and Harry Thompson, this theatre piece premiered at Melbourne Fringe 2019 using the guise of two millennials in a backroom at a house party to dive deep into gritty territory of mental health, and touches on Filley’s honest experiences of chronic pelvic pain.
Scout Boxhall’s “beautiful new play exploring the complicated relationship between people with chronic illnesses and their medication. The piece, divided in three distinct acts exploring three illnesses, combines elements of physical theatre, poignant monologues, and some dark humour.”
Shaping the Fractured Self: poetry of chronic illness and pain
"Shaping the Fractured Self showcases twenty-eight of Australia’s finest poets who happen to live with chronic illness and pain. The autobiographical short essays, in conjunction with the three poems from each of the poets, capture the body in trauma in its many and varied moods. Because those who live with chronic illness and pain experience shifts in their relationship to it on a yearly, monthly or daily basis, so do the words they use to describe it."
Screen and Video
“Tightly Wound is a 10-minute animated film that follows Shelby’s experience with vaginismus; a pelvic floor condition characterized by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that tighten the vaginal entrance, causing pain, penetration problems, and inability to have intercourse. It chronicles the various ways it has affected her life – how health professionals have failed her, men have rejected her, and shame, anger, and hatred have plagued her body."
Screen and Video
Feature Documentary (Available on Netflix) - “Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head,” she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure.”
Underart by Cirkus Cirkör
"Olle Strandberg has a background in acrobatics and juggling. In December 2005 he broke his neck doing a triple somersault and was paralyzed from the neck down. Olle's latest production, Underart, is based on his own story, but is not an exact staging of any precise course of events."