West Midlands arts graduates will give voice to hidden stories of British South Asian women with inflammatory bowel disease through a new creative project.
Five artists will undertake a short residency in the University of Wolverhampton's School of Art based on research produced by the University’s Psychology Department into the community stigma associated with the condition.
Research funded by Crohn’s and Colitis UK and the Rotha Abraham Bequest Trust was undertaken, along with anonymous interviews to explore the issues faced by women with the disease and an Arts Council bid was secured for £12,512 for an awareness project to take place next year. It will link New Cross Hospital, as well as University staff and students from the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, and some of the women who took part in the research.
The residencies will be hosted in specific media workshops within the School including Glass, Ceramics, Stitch, Digital and Traditional Print, Photography and Film and will explore themes of health, ethnicity and womanhood.
The resulting work will be exhibited at a number of public events and locations in the region including Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
The project will be led by Maggie Ayliffe, Head of Wolverhampton School of Art, and Dr Satvinder Purewal, Senior Lecturer in Psychology. Maggie said: "This interdisciplinary project aims to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and the social stigmas experienced by sufferers in the broader community. It will find new ways of making this experience visible through the visual arts and encourage more open discussion of the issues.
"It will also enable us to create new audiences for art and research among the ethnic communities in the region and stimulate discussion of the importance of art and design in society."
The project will commence in January next year, with an exhibition planned for the summer.
Pic cap: Helen Sargeant, Maggie Ayliffe and Dr Sati Purewal (from the University of Wolverhampton) and Helen Steed (Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust).