Up to 90% of UK women will experience severe menopausal symptoms, yet only half will seek medical help. There are many reasons why women do not seek treatment for the menopause. A report conducted by the British Menopause Society in 2016 found that a majority of women felt too embarrassed to discuss menopausal symptoms with their doctor, others believed the menopause was “just something they had to put up with”.

So… I decided to address my feelings caused by my hormonal changes. The self loathing. The looking in the mirror and not recognising who was staring back at me.

I knew I wasn’t on my own. I wanted my friends and family to know how I felt.

I couldn’t really vocalise my feelings. I had always been so positive… I didn’t feel that way any more. I felt that being able express my emotions in a creative image would really help them understand.

I decided to create an art instillation called SCRAPHEAP that will show 51 individual images of menopause journeys.

Why 51?

This is the average age in the UK for the menopause to take place.

These 51 images will be powerful, expressive and thought inducing.

Each one an individual expression of the menopause.

Each participant will also be asked to examine their own feelings about their changes for 12 seconds for 12 consecutive days.

Why 12?

This is representational of the 12 missing menstrual cycles that represent the menopause.

The exhibition

This exhibition, led by disabled artist, Donna Mackenzie-Smyth, in collaboration with local photographer, Laura Page, shows the images gathered so far of a group of 12 local women, the number representing the 12 missing cycles which result in the term menopause. The images capture the taboo topic of menopause, at the same time celebrating women’s bodies.

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