I spent the summer of 2020 meeting people in my neighbourhood, asking what they thought of a former slave trader’s statue being removed and how they felt about lockdown. The resulting pictures have been made into a 64 page tabloid, a nod to West Ferry Printing Works - a former newspaper printing facility on the Island.
When I was 14 I was picking up my sister’s Bacalaureat exam results. I went with a friend, it was a short walk from home. I was on my period and already in pain, but nothing i wasn’t used to. On the way home i remember blacking out. Not through pain, my vision just completely went black. I grabbed my friend’s arm, explained what was happening and went to sit down on the side of a flower bed until it passes. I remember throwing up in the flower bed, and my vision coming back after a few minutes. That was the only blackout I had, but for the next 20 years I lived in constant fear of my period, accepting that mine came with pain. Despite regular visits to different doctors and specialists I never knew why. Last year, at the age of 35, after nearly passing out in the office I decided to investigate my periods again. During a scan the nurse showed me my womb on the monitor and said “Look, it lights up like a Christmas tree!”. I finally had a diagnosis, it was adenomyosis. I asked the doctor what treatment options there are, and she said none, but suggested inducing me into menopause. I wanted to punch her. This project asks the question why – why is there no treatment? How many other women are in a similar situation, and how do they live with womb related conditions that science has yet to fully understand? Through personal experiences of the women I’ve met and photographed, Yellow Wallpaper examines how women have been excluded from medical research, have not been listened to – especially when experiencing pain, causing women’s bodies to become medically, scientifically and socially invisible.
My picture of Ellie, alongside the other 99 winners is on display across the UK in shopping malls, airports and train stations and on bus shelters courtesy of JCDecaux. As if that wasn’t enough, the 100 winning and 100 shortlisted images are being published in Portrait of Britain vol 2 by Hoxton Minipress.