WITHIN: A series of personal portraits tackling the subject of endometriosis

Charlotte Hodges
·1-min read
 (Ester Keate)
(Ester Keate)

An online exhibition featuring portraits of 18 women has launched to coincide with Endometriosis Awareness Month. Ester Keate’s series explores the illness through a collection of images which include close-up photos of the subjects’ faint surgical scars.

As the word implies – endo (within), metri (womb), osis (condition) – the condition comes about when tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other areas of the body. It can cause chronic pain and is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Yet, its diagnosis and treatment remain underfunded, underresearched, and regularly misunderstood.

Keate wanted to convey a mixture of emotions within the portraits. The nudity expresses the sense of vulnerability and loss that many endometriosis sufferers describe. Yet, they also show bravery, standing strong and statuesque in the face of their suffering.

The close-up images of these women’s scars are the only outward signs that they suffer from a medical condition. Some only faintly visible, yet they are focal point of both the image and so much of the subject’s life.

The group image shows the women united through their shared experience, however they do not look at one another. Each stands alone; separate and isolated.

WITHIN is presented by Another Boutique (founded by Boutique Artists agency), an online gallery that aims to raise awareness about current sociopolitical issues and to help facilitate change through their exhibitions. Through donations and print sales Another Boutique supports charities relevant to the exhibition at the time; WITHIN is fundraising for Endometriosis UK. The show can be seen at another.boutique