"This Is What The Menopause Looks Like" Exhibition

by Osborne & What in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th March 2021 we successfully raised £5,226 ( + est. £1038.75 Gift Aid ) with 132 supporters in 41 days

To lessen the stigma around the menopause, connect diverse women in their local communities and celebrate women so they can thrive.

by Osborne & What in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Take the project to more diverse communities around the UK, meeting women from other diverse communities, partnering with local venues and and holding exhibitions with opening nights there.


Background
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In 2019, after experiencing a difficult menopause myself and feeling isolated and confused, I set out around the UK to meet, interview and photograph other women who were also going through it. This culminated in a small exhibition at a night called Bad Fruit, in Chats Palace, Hackney in East London. 

Testimonials

Viewers described the exhibition as:

  • "The invisible made visible. As a menopausal woman viewer it brought great pleasure to have a sense of community, simply to stand in the presence of ‘women of a certain age’, photographed as they are. Not forgetting the joy of nosiness and comparison of experience. Against a background of cultural disappearance of middle aged women Catrin has begun to catalogue the loss / advertise the presence.”Billy Chan.
  • “This exhibition reveals the diversity of experience of menopause, and also celebrates the lived experience of a wide range of women. It is very uplifting, and also empowering to share an open conversation about a topic which, historically, has been associated with shame and secrecy. Together we are stronger."Maria Gandy


2019 Exhibition - Image & Text

The images were framed in pairs and hung along with extracts of text from the interviews. The installation allowed spot-lighting of the portraits to create a highly focused effect, drawing the audience to engage with each woman's unique story as well as the exhibition s a whole.

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The project - next steps

I am now applying for Arts Council funding to continue travelling to various UK locations, where I have confirmed venues for the future exhibition. In each location I will meet and interview a diverse range of menopausal women, taking two portraits of each. I will then return the following year to show the photographs, and excerpts of the interviews, at arts venues in each community area. The touring exhibition will involve an opening night at each venue, including performances by women featured in the exhibition. 

Impact and outcomes

After speaking to women about the menopause I have noticed there is a general lack of information and understanding about it, even though every woman will go through it. Women often feel isolated and that they cannot talk about their experiences, as this transition has traditionally been associated with feelings of shame at being 'washed up' and 'past it.' 

The exhibition will create a platform in each local community, to celebrate women who have traditionally been made invisible by society. It will look at their individual and unique journeys and stories through the menopause and share this with the wider public, so that this transition is demystified and better understood. The project will bring together networks of local women experiencing menopause, so that they feel a sense of belonging to something bigger in their community and can continue to share experiences and support each other after the exhibition. 

I want to illuminate spaces with vibrant art works which lessen the stigma around menopause, encourage women to talk and share experiences, enable society to better understand menopause and to celebrate women who have been traditionally been unheard and invisible. 


Your Donation.

Your donation will add to the Arts Council grant I am applying for and will be used in the following ways:

  • Enable me to travel to various areas to meet, interview and photograph women
  • Pay for my accommodation while in those areas meeting, interviewing and photographing women.
  • Pay to print high quality photos and enable them to be framed by an expert.
  • Pay to hire venues to exhibit the portraits and interviews in.
  • Pay performers to perform at the opening events.
  • This will allow the exhibition to be free so that everyone can attend.

Some pictures from the 2019 exhibition

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Rewards

Various rewards are on offer as a thanks for larger donations - please see the Rewards section and sample images below.

Fridge Magnets

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Mugs 

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T-shirts


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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

One to one Yoga For Menopause Session via Zoom

One to one Menopause yoga session via Zoom with Catrin. This session will give you tips and practices as well as other information on treatments both natural and medical to embody your menopause. With a handout and tips available on natural ways to help. There will be time to share any issues and Catrin will guide you through some some cooling yin and a relaxing yoga nidra.

£10 or more

£10 reward

Receive a fridge magnet with a picture from the exhibition

£15 or more

Calendar from the exhibition

receive a calender with pictures from the exhibition

£20 or more

Postcards of pictures from the exhibition

Receive a selection of postcards of pictures from the exhibition

£20 or more

Mugs!

Mugs with portrait and exhibition logo.

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Receive a t shirt from the exhibition

£50 or more

One to One Yoga Session - Yin

Yin Yoga is a quiet, reflective practice which can help you to look inwards. Practicing floor - based postures, often with the use of props to support the body. This can help to leave you feeling grounded, calmer and like you have stretched the fascia and connective tissue passively but deeply, enabling you to feel less stressed and experience better sleep.Yin can support the more dynamic practices of yoga (like ashtanga or vinyasa) as

£50 or more

One to OneYoga Session Vinyasa Flow

In this session practiced via Zoom we will have a chat and work on things which you want to find out more about/explore further. if you don't have any specific questions I can lead you through a two hour practice with music.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

Receive a framed print from the exhibiton to hang on your wall at home

£1,000 or more

£1000 Sponsor the exhibition

Sponsor the exhibition and your company name will appear on all the flyers and at all the venues as well as free samples to encourage people to buy your products.

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