News / Photography

The Hidden Lives of Endometriosis

To coincide with Endometriosis Awareness Month, this March Another Boutique presents an online exhibition by photographer Ester Keate.

Launching today and running until 31 March at Another Boutique, new exhibition W I T H I N comprises 29 images by  British-Swedish photographer Ester Keate, all of which tackling the subject of endometriosis.

Launched in time for  Endometriosis Awareness Month, a series of portraits are followed by close up images of the subjects’ faint surgical scars, and a final group portrait. 1 in 10 women suffer the effects of endometriosis, a total of approximately 180 million women worldwide, with some non-binary people also suffering from the condition. These individuals — many of whom are misdiagnosed — are represented in W I T H I N by the 18 women photographed for the show.

Endometriosis can cause chronic pain and is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Yet, its diagnosis and treatment remain underfunded, under-researched, and often misunderstood. Taking an average of 7 and a half years for symptoms to be diagnosed, endometriosis can be a painful and invisible part of many women and non binary people’s lives.

The 18 portraits  featured in the exhibition convey a mixture of emotions. The women’s nudity expresses the sense of vulnerability and loss that many endometriosis sufferers describe. They are exposed and unprotected from their condition. Yet, they also show the bravery of the featured women. On plinths of soft white material, reminiscent of giant rolls of bandage, they stand strong.

Sometimes known as an “invisible illness”, the 10 close-up images gently highlight the models’ surgical scars, the only outward signs that they suffer from a medical condition. Some are only faintly visible to the viewer, yet they are the focal point of both the image and so much of the subject’s life.  A final group image shows all 18 women together. Though a group image, showing the women united through their shared experience, they do not look at one another. Each stands alone: separate and isolated. 

 

For further information head to the Another Boutique website.

1 March 2021