Warning the below blog contains some images that may be confronting for some readers.
The other night I went to an art exhibition opening. Let me preface this story by saying I am no art critic so if you looking for an art review then turn away now.
The amount I know about art starts with how to spell the word and ends with I am pretty sure she used acrylic paints and it was on canvas? But this art made me feel, not just a happy or sad kind of reaction but in a deeply connected way that I have only ever experienced once before. That other piece of art was when my husband and I were preparing for IVF for the first time. Our pre-ivf holiday to de-stress was in Bali where we found a black and white painting of a baby, it was as if it was a sign, that painting now hangs in our dining room and serves as a beautiful reminder of how lucky we are.
But getting back to last night the artist whose collection aroused such deep emotions in myself and those around us at the event is Ellie Kammer. A young local South Australian artist who is also a fellow Endo Sister. She suffers from Endometriosis and Adenomyosis and deals with such horrific pain daily and painting is her therapeutic release.
Her art conveys the pain, anguish and desperation that these diseases bring. Her self-portrait shows a face in agony, a body that has betrayed her and emotions that words can’t articulate.
For a young woman she has suffered so much pain, many surgeries and setbacks yet she manages to express herself through her art in a way that defies words for fellow endo sufferers. I attended last night with some amazing people who continue to advocate for these diseases and raise awareness too, my husband, and endo sisters Jasmine and Tracey pictured below.
For all of us we understand the daily struggles and the pain that these diseases bring but not everyone can express the way it feels. Ellie recently sent me a message about my video diary from surgery that I shared and said how brave I was to share something so personal. This astounded me, that she thought I was brave when she bares her soul for the world to see. And bares her body, through her art too. She has given inspiration to women and young girls around the world. Fellow Endo sufferers from around the globe send her their stories, some of which she shared in the brochure that accompanies the exhibit. Ellie is also an Endo Champion for Endometriosis Australia, a role that goes hand in hand with her desire to raise awareness and make change.
As a volunteer with the same charity and an Endometriosis advocate it was amazing to see so many people in a room engaged and listening to people talk about Endometriosis in all its uncomfortable glory. And whether those attending loved or hated it, they will walk away knowing the word Endometriosis and having a small insight into what the disease does to women. If art is meant to evoke a response then Ellie has done that in a spectacular fashion all while helping and inspiring fellow sufferers along the way.
To follow Ellie and see her work go to https://www.instagram.com/elliekammer/
Nescience is on between 6th and 26th July at Light Square Gallery, Adelaide
If you or someone you know has Endometriosis and want to learn more head to Endometriosis Australia for all the facts, great educational webinars and more.