The Climacteric explores a significant change that every woman experiences: the period leading up to and after the menopause. This can be an emotional and physically challenging time, yet women often choose to remain silent.
As a conceptual artist I am intrigued by the challenge of making this invisibility, visible. Like the seasons, the menopause is a natural process. It’s also a binary event with a before and after and a transition from fertile to infertile. I use black and white imagery staged in the forest, to metaphorically represent these ideas. A kaleidoscope of powerful and unpredictable emotions can also accompany this change. To interrogate and visualise these feelings and experiences, I position my body in exaggerated poses and add colour in the form of emojis.
The Climacteric is my personal journey but echoes the stories of many women. Using the coping mechanism of self-depreciating humour, I endeavour to draw viewers in and encourage them to travel with me. I first lead them into the confusion of the unknown and then on to experience senses of loss, fear and regret. I share my anger, exhaustion and frustration and confront the viewer with sudden and unexpected red images symbolising the heat of a debilitating hot flash. Finally, at peace with the change, I show the possibilities of coming through to the other side as a stronger more confident woman.
With my work, I want to create a bridge between generations and raise awareness about this challenging time. And as a result, to trigger a deeper, more understanding conversation about the menopause.