“There’s a real lack of information about Endometriosis – I want to rectify that”
MSc Medical Art student Aimee Hutchinson talked to us about her Masters Show work, which is based on increasing the visibility of a condition that is very personal to her…
“My Masters Show work is based on a gynaecological condition called Endometriosis. I wanted to base my final project on it for personal reasons; I was diagnosed with the condition last year and I found there was a real lack of information out there. When I went to the doctor I wasn’t given any leaflets or any further information, it was very much along the lines of go home and research it yourself. As anyone knows, looking up anything medical on Google is never a good idea.
“Once I started doing some more research about the condition I found that a lot of the information was really inconsistent. It’s a widespread condition which affects around 176 million women worldwide, but not a lot is known about it. Beyond that, a lot of the medical terminology used can be confusing, and so I wanted to rectify all of that and do this as an awareness project.
“I’ll be presenting my work in a number of different media at the Masters Show. I’ve created a website, 2D illustrations and two 3D printed sculptures; one of a complete uterus and one of a cross section of a uterus. These will be on display on the show and will light up gradually to show the growth of the Endometriosis. It’s an invisible disease, but I want to make it visible.
“I think there needs to be more education around gynaecological issues in general, as a lot of time women are under-represented in medicine. I definitely found that when I was doing some of my research; one of my projects involved building a 3D model of the pelvic floor muscles and it was one of the most difficult things for me to do because of the complete lack of information out there.
“One of the best things about the course has been being able to meet people from different backgrounds. All of us here come from different areas of research; I did Fine Art as an undergraduate course whereas some of the others are from medicine or psychology. I think having that variety of knowledge has been great. We’ve all really helped each other. I struggled with some of the anatomy terminology at first and I would ask one of my classmates, Amie for advice on how to remember everything and likewise, when it comes to the art side of things she would ask me for advice.
“I’ve just loved being able just to experience all of this. Whenever I speak to someone about what I’m doing they think it’s like CSI stuff and they think we’re in a lab with white coats. It’s not like that at all, but the course has given us so many opportunities; from developing briefs with the NHS to working with students and staff in CAHID (the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identity at the University of Dundee) and developing new software skills. It’s gone so fast, I wish I could do it all again.
“I’ve had such a great time studying here. The facilities at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design are amazing, the campus is lovely and really safe and secure, and the teaching staff are incredible – they just get what you’re talking about and know how to help and support you with your projects. I couldn’t really big this place up anymore, I’m a bit of a fangirl about it!”
“I think there needs to be more education around gynaecological issues in general, as a lot of time women are under-represented in medicine. I definitely found that when I was doing some of my research; one of my projects involved building a 3D model of the pelvic floor muscles and it was one of the most difficult things for me to do because of the complete lack of information out there."Aimee Hutchinson, Medical Art student