An ongoing project centered around illness and medication. Trapped is a project I initially started looking into conditions that lead to the loss of memories, such as Dementia. Preserving the fragile flowers in plastic acetate was symbolic of the artificial means (medication) by which we try and preserve the memories and slow the memory loss of such conditions. This original project created the acetate dress made entirely of trapped blossom flowers. The cherry blossom flowers were chosen for their short-lived blooms, so that by preserving them in the acetate they could live on past spring.
After my own dealings with chronic illnesses and reliance on medication the Trapped pieces took on a more personal meaning. I felt shame, like many others, from being so dependent on pills. I revived the Trapped project and incorporated medication to the trapped flowers, creating layers of mandala like circles which celebrated the flowers and pills in equal measure.
Living with an invisible illness I wanted to show the hidden importance of medication with Trapped. When we talk about uplifting those who face disability or chronic illness it can be neglected to acknowledge the importance medication has in a person’s daily struggle. I sort to tackle pill shaming by presenting the pills to be just beautiful as the fragile flowers. Flowers that are suspended from decay by artificial means. To break the cycle of stigma people who have a disability or chronic illness face, there needs to be acceptance of all aspects of disability including reliance on medication. It can feel like going around in circles when trying to find the right medication for you, and when, or if, you find what works it should be celebrated not shamed.
Trapped was exhibited as part of the Shape Arts exhibition In Circles at the Bow Arts Centre, London in 2019.