Expressive Arts therapy has the potential to heal wounds, such as dealing with grief issues like infertility. Many women are putting off having a baby, and realizing throughout the process that getting pregnant is not as easy as they thought it would be. The decision to add to one’s family by having a baby is a big one that most women face, and the journey is fraught with frustration, sadness, and at times even anger,leading to depression and grief in the face of failure.
One woman is stepping out and bringing awareness to the plight of those suffering from infertility – Elizabeth Walker. Throughout her experience, she began creating artwork as a way to deal with the stressful emotions surrounding infertility, and to create a visual representation of the pain that documented her personal history. In sharing her story and self expression through art, she found comfort, strength and acceptance of her situation. She wanted to go public, to do something that would help raise infertility awareness.
The result of this experience is a unique exhibit, called The ART of IF: Navigating the Journey of Infertility, which opened on March 22, 2014. The exhibit featured artwork, portraits and stories of individuals at different stages of their infertility journeys, including oral history and portraiture projects. It also featured facts and figures about infertility. The exhibit educates, raises awareness and provides a creative outlet and community of support for those experiencing the effects of the disease of Infertility.
More information is available online at http://artofinfertility.org/main.php#/images/artwork/artwork/2.
Elizabeth writes “My original goal was to raise awareness, and the exhibit and project certainly have. However, what’s really amazing is the community that is being built through this project and the healing that it’s doing for those living with infertility. “ Sharing life experiences and stories with others is often healing and important to the grieving process. What’s amazing is that this display of art wok is portable, and traveling to museums across the world, with the goal being to exhibit local artwork and stories. I commend Elizabeth for her bravery and ability to turn something so painful into a mode of healing for herself and many other women in that situation.