Samantha Conlon’s The Sick Role, 2018, is part documentation and part ritualistic photography accompanied with text composing a contemporary portrait of the mundane reality of mental illness. From a new body of work developed in Kuvataideakatemie, Helsinki, The Sick Role interrogates the experience of physical and mental illness in female bodies and the institutionalized gender politics at play within the care systems from which females seek healing. The development of systems of Western Science and Medicine displaced the age-old lineages of female practitioners. Midwives with generations of healing knowledge connected to the kingdom of plants and collective spiritual life were ousted from clinics, if not brutally violated in earlier eras involving mass genocide of women healers. Women in general were made victim of segregation, and limited access to higher education marginalized their work, making it unlawful to practice holistic healing modalities that carry important insight into women’s complex systems.
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This article have now been published on the art511mag.com site and was commissioned by Alexandra Arts for the special print edition of Art 511 Mag celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women’s suffrage [funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND] during the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season.
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