Helen Mather
MA Design: Textile Practice

Helen Mather

I am interested in our relationship with materials, process, and material language as methods of understanding ourselves, physically, socially, and politically. Seeking a dialogue with materials as an “active exchange” through making, I acknowledge our entangled relationship through which we connect non-hierarchically, as matter. 

“Physical pain does not simply resist language it actively destroys it”[1]

In this body of work, I have explored materials to develop a language articulating pain and my lived experience of endometriosis[2], through tensions, forces, and materiality. The work has culminated in a handling collection of objects and installation work for exhibition. Through its versatility, the installation transforms to reflect the changing nature of chronic pain. Meaning is held within embodied objects as witnesses to a hidden experience, validating something intangible, to say, ‘this happened’.

Through this work I am discussing health outside of medical institutions and art therapy, as a tool for care, awareness raising, protest and strategy.


[1] Scarry, E. (1985) The Body In Pain. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.

[2] Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to those found in the womb lining grow outside the uterus, building up and breaking down cyclically and causing pain, inflammation and scarring. https://www.endometriosis-uk.org