Musicians, compose. Poets, write. Engineers, plan. Artists, imagine. We all create something. For Elizabeth Walker, founder of The ART Of Infertility, the desire to have a baby and the difficulty to get there inspired her to create something unique and meaningful.
Through storytelling and artwork, The ART of Infertility translates the experiences of patients to medical practitioners, physicians, and legislators. Lead by Elizabeth, and Maria Novotny’s vital research and co-direction the project displays the human experiences of trying to conceive rather than reinforce the medical way of talking about it.
A couple weeks ago at a conference in Salt Lake City, I shared our story behind creating the Naula app, a fertility treatment iPhone app, and contributed to their project. Like Elizabeth, I turned to my own art to share my story. Naula is now part of my DNA. It gave me a different voice and helped me pave the road to a new beginning. I shared my own journey with Maria and Elizabeth on their blog here: “IVF and a New Beginning”.
It is important to share these stories so change can happen. There have been quite a few books and public discourse on IVF lately, as well as organizations dedicated to overcoming the challenges and stigmas. This is part of the work that Elizabeth and Maria have been doing. This month in Switzerland they are putting together an infertility art exhibit, detailing patient perspectives of infertility for Merck KGaA’s Patient Day.
For the Merck Patient Day, they will curate an exhibit displaying visual representations of medicine’s invasive interaction with the body. They invite employees of Merck to ponder the rhetoric of accumulation. Specifically, viewers examine the accumulation of medical objects and artifacts as well as the accumulation of fertility stories represented through the various images. It is through the lens of accumulation that viewers can grasp the magnitude of fertility treatment’s impact on the physical body and how it impacts the body’s relationship with others.
Elizabeth and Maria will be speaking about their own stories and The ART of Infertility as a project. If you are in Switzerland on November 9th stop by Coinsins. It will be cold, you might even see some snow but a little fondue, raclette, chocolate and Swiss beer will help you keep cozy and warm.