Art of Woman

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards

Endometriosis causes pelvic bleeding_6714 web

Endometriosis affects women worldwide. ‘Life with Endometriosis’ is demonstrating this by entering LensCulture international photography competition ‘Visual Storytelling Awards 2015’.
Click on above photo to go to LensCulture site and read more about the photos.
Now an international audience will view some of the varied experiences and impacts of endometriosis on women. These photos are my photographic responses to what women with endometriosis have told me. Their stories of chronic pain, missed opportunities, misunderstanding and neglect are heartbreaking. These photos are conceptual and expressive of emotion.
Endometriosis devastates on in ten women worldwide. Endometriosis urgently needs more funding for research for cures and better treatments.
‘Life with Endometriosis’ raises awareness by making endometriosis visible.
Please help raise awareness and link and forward to your friends and anyone interested in women’s health or photography.

One Year of ‘Life with Endometriosis’

A4 flyer banner

It's over a year since the launch of ‘Life with Endometriosis’. A good time to think about what has been achieved. I have hear the stories and feelings from 20 women with endometriosis. Twenty lives disrupted. Twenty careers impacted. Twenty families struggling with consequences of living with chronic illness. Every story makes me more determined to raise awareness of endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects women worldwide, so I’m showing my photos at talks and entering exhibitions worldwide.

Photos from ‘Life with Endometriosis’ have been show:


Repeating themes I have photographed include:
  • illness disrupting commitments,
  • attitudes of managers and colleagues to time taken off work,
  • the hidden nature of this disease,
  • difficulty and painful moving the body,
  • internal organs stuck together,
  • major surgery such as bowel resection,
  • depression and self harm,
  • fighting the disease,
  • painful sex,
  • help from friends,
  • the need for carers,
  • infertility,
  • miscarriage,
  • IVF,
  • motherhood,
  • resilience and positive attitude.

‘Life with Endometriosis’ is raising awareness by making endometriosis visible


Life with Endometriosis is a simple 3 stage project:
1.
Tell me your story. It is totally up to you what parts of your life you tell me about - by email or phone.
2.
Make photos. I think about how to translate into photos and email or phone to discuss suggestions. We plan photo sessions and have fun taking photos. You may like to make art too.
3.
Display photos. I prepare the photos for display. They can be used in talks about endometriosis, in art exhibitions and in an art photo book.

I’ll continue to listening to women’s stories and experiences with endometriosis until May 2016.
Like and Follow on Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis
Contact me if you would like your story to help raise awareness:
lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au.

Life with Endometriosis



Endometriosis? What is THAT!!

Watch a YouTube video invitation to joint me and become part of “Life with Endometriosis”:
'Life with Endometriosis' invitation by Margaret Kalms (YouTube)

Life with Endometriosis - invitation YouTube by Margaret Kalms

Endometriosis is a debilitating and painful women’s reproductive disease. It is surprisingly common. It affects 10 - 15% of menstruating women. This rate is similar to women with breast cancer. While many people have heard about breast cancer, few have heard about endometriosis, even fewer understand the impact of endometriosis on women's lives.

There is still prejudice in talking about pelvic pain. Many people believe that menstrual pain is somehow normal! This results in delays in diagnosis that can extend pain and suffering unnecessarily. I decided to use my art, my photographic skills to challenge these ideas and prejudices, and to raise awareness of this insidious disease.

I’m dedicating an exhibition and an accompanying art book to this cause. "Life with Endometriosis", I call it. I imagine a gallery filled with art - several photos about each story from a dozen or so women and possibly including art created by some of the women. The accompanying book will be a lasting record of “Life with Endometriosis”.

Since August 2014, I have been meeting with women who live with endometriosis and have made recordings of their experiences. Progress with photography has been slower than I hoped because of delays and postponements due to ill health - which is all part of the endometriosis story. I am committed to this project. This will be a journey over many months, maybe years, as we visually explore the impacts of endometriosis on women’s lives.

I’m excited about the visual and photographic challenges this project will bring. It is a privilege to learn about other women’s lives and tell their stories.

Contact me: lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au

Follow and Like - Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis

Endometriosis Study

Do You Have Endometriosis?

A researcher I know, Maryam Moradi is doing a PhD studying how endometriosis affects women. She is inviting women with endometriosis to complete this newly developed questionnaire to measure the long term impact of this condition. The questions in the Endometriosis Impact Questionnaire (EIQ) have been developed based on 10 focus group discussions with 35 women with endometriosis. This study is being conducted by researchers through the Australian National University (ANU) and Canberra Endometriosis Centre.

Please invite anyone you know who has endometriosis to participate. You may place the attached Information sheet on your websites, Facebook and anywhere else you think is appropriate. Data collection for the project will close on 28 March 2014.

I encourage women with endometriosis to support this study, https://apollo.anu.edu.au/default.asp?pid=7700. Contact Maryam Moradi 0403 679 650 or email her at: maryam.moradi.fu@gmail.com

See information page and flyer,
Endometriosis Study Moradi ANU

Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis Information Night

Melissa Parker speaking about endometriosis. She used my photographs to engage the audience.
Melissa Parker speaking about endometriosis

On 30May I was invited to display some of my exhibition quality photographs at an endometriosis information evening. The evening was hosted by the Canberra Endometriosis Centre which is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and management of endometriosis. Many women, from teens to mature women, suffer terribly from endometriosis. Symptoms include severe pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, fertility problems and general ill health. These symptoms disrupt girls’ schooling and cause affected women to take time off work. As a result of these symptoms, endometriosis can put immense stress on relationships; both personal and work relationships. It is a poorly understood disorder and many women suffer for years before diagnosis and effective treatment is implemented.

Guest speaker was Dr Susan Evans from Adelaide. She is a Gynaecologist and Advanced Laporoscope Surgeon who specialises in managing endometriosis and pelvic pain. She has authored several books including Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain (which was available to buy), the e-book Pelvic Pain and The Pelvic Pain Report.

I have a deep compassion for this often hidden suffering and I use my art to promote awareness and to fundraise. Modern medical techniques have progressed and many endometriosis sufferers can be treated. There is no reason for women to suffer for years without treatment.

Endometriosis night was well attended with standing room only in the auditorium. Many aspects of endometriosis were discussed. Melissa Parker (RN RM MNurs, endometriosis coordinator and researcher) from Canberra Endometriosis Centre, used some of my photos, with my permission, in her presentation. They were a contrast to the usual laparoscopy images and clinical diagrams.

It is exciting to see that my photos communicate so effectively. My display in the lobby slowed attendees down. Before and after the formal presentations, the attendees enjoyed looking at my photos and many spoke to me about aspects of women’s intimate health. Many people asked about the ideas I express in my photography. These discussions opened up discussion about support for women sufferers and gave the support group an opportunity to engage with attendees.

Topics and Speakers on the night:
  • Management of Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis: Dr Susan Evans
  • Endometriosis and Fertility: Dr Felicity Brims
  • Living with Endometriosis and Activities of the Canberra Endometriosis Centre: Melissa Parker

Margaret Kalms with some of her photographs from her solo exhibition, “Period Piece”
Margaret Kalms with some of her photographs from her solo exhibition

Buying Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain by Dr Susan Evans
Woman buying the book Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain

New Endometriosos clinic in Canberra

Great news! The Canberra Times has a short note about a new Endometriosis Clinic opening in Canberra, Australia. This will improve the health and reduce suffering for many women. Women of all reproductive ages can have this debilitating and often painful condition. It can reduce fertility and certainly affects a woman's productivity. Now women can get treatment more easily in Canberra.

Story is written up in IBN news