This costume attempts to reveal the invisible nature of Founding Trustee Kate’s neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain is the constant firing of pain signals to the brain after an original injury, often without the knowledge of an injury or original cause.
Neuopathic pain is not easily explained. This costume is the first in a series of attempts to reveal aesthetically what is being experienced physically. Kate’s research images included scorched flesh, crawling and stinging army ants, hot and cold fire, scratchy lace and fireworks. All common explanations for this sort of pain, and words she has used herself in consultations.
If left untreated, as unfortunately many cases are, neuropathic pain can spread to other areas of the body, causing muscle atrophy, tightening of the fascia and increased pain. The restrictive corset represents limitations in movement in the torso and even difficulty in breathing that Kate has experienced with chronic pain of this sort.
Whilst true to experience, Something Chronic always wants its art to remain accessible and beautiful. The use of lace and contrasting beading, on top of the traditional method of corsetry displayed by the maker Lucy Wilkinson has hopefully achieved this.