'Freshly Peeled Organs': A Life With Endometriosis Told Through Illustrations
Updated: Apr 3
Fluorescent snakes, delicate botany and ovary puppet masters is the vision of Ainsley M, 28, from Texas, who has been expressing her lived experience with Endometriosis in artwork over her social media page 'FreshlyPeeledOrgans.'
"I originally created Endometriosis related art as a means of expressing things I could not find the words for", she said. "I began to share after being encouraged by my boyfriend, family and friends. I made the final decision to share after seeing people countlessly go to Reddit and ask the same things I asked in that phase of diagnosis and expressing the same sorrow."
Ainsley was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2021 and has had excision surgery twice - the most recent being 2 months ago. "Although I experienced symptoms since I was 12, it was not until 3 years ago Endometriosis really took anyway my quality of life", she said.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which cells, similar to the lining of the womb, start to grow in other parts of the body for example, the bladder and bowels. It affects 1 in 10 women globally. "I am literally drawing everything on an android while hooked up to my hotpad in bed 90% of the time because it's something I do when the pain hits and I'm bedridden", Ainsley explained.
"I thought that if I could simply just make one person feel understood, not alone, or even just able to point and say 'this is what I feel too' I would be happy, and I am. Making this art and hearing people say they can relate made my own suffering more bearable. I can use this pain as a tool, I can take it's destruction and create something dark humoured, I can make it beautiful or dramatic."
'Acceptance' (pictured above) was Ainsley's first piece and enabled her to express the success of diagnosis coupled with the dread of Endometriosis being incurable. "I often use snakes as a symbol of Endometriosis as they bite, have venom and shed. I also have a love of Ouroborus as it's symbolism for infinity pairs well with things that are chronic" she said.
Explore Ainsley's artwork below and follow @freshlypeeledorgans for more.
'THORN IN MY SIDE, THORNS INSIDE'
'I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY GOT THERE BUT THEY ARE ALL VERY ANGRY'
"FROM THE INSIDE-OUT, I ROT"
"CONTROLLED BY WHAT'S BROKEN WITHIN ME"
'LIKE THE DEVIL STABBED IT'
'LIKE IT'S BEING RIPPED APART'
'MY BODY IS A WASTELAND'
'FOR THIS MOMENT, I FEEL PEACE'
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