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
Adelaide-based performance artist Abbie Madden (She/her) exploring eyesight and vision in performance. “Blindful represents making dance and circus accessible to anyone and everyone.”
Body Language Season 2: ADHD
Screen and Video
“an episode about the rampant underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of women with ADHD. In this film, a woman shares her story of spending over a decade on antipsychotics for a condition she never had, only to find out in her 30s that it was ADHD all along.”
"Bri Noonan (they/them) is located in Phoenix, AZ... Their work is primarily based within their relationship ties and their own personal self reflection. This includes exploring depression, anxiety, chronic illness and queerness."
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.
Micaela Schmidt is a theatre maker/performer, teaching artist and access consultant who is totally blind. She offers tutoring in music, creative writing, and literary braille.
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."
Mindful Movement Mentality
Created by Melbourne-based circus artist Kate Nelson, Mindful Movement Mentality is an online personal training practice to help find movement to love your body.
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."
US-based performance project - “Sins Invalid is a disability justice based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and LGBTQ / gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized.”
Handmade goods by Danielle Freiman - Carries handmade goods for mental health, healing, and self care. She created the shop as a platform for talking about things that are hard to talk about and sharing her experiences with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Artist Sol Kammer (previously Ellie Kammer) draws on her own experiences with chronic health conditions and translates them into bold and confronting images that speak to an underrepresented community: people living with disability or illness.
That's So Chronic!
Podcast created by Jess The Mess (Jess Brien) interviewing some incredible people from around the world that are thriving - and sometimes only just surviving - with chronic illnesses, life changing injuries, and potentially disastrous diagnoses.
The Invisible Illness Project
Screen and Video
An indie documentary series development based in Boorloo (Perth, WA) exploring the experiences of young people with invisible chronic illnesses and disabilities.
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."