The Art of the Menopause

CSM vases display

How would you visually represent your experience of the menopause? Imagine bringing physical form to its multiple aspects: the physical, emotional, and cultural. Second year BA Ceramic Design students at Central Saint Martins have been engaged with this challenge. Their rather beautiful answers will be on exhibit at 2017’s British Ceramics Biennial this autumn.

With Reclaiming The Menopause Managing Director Eileen Bellot acting as an advisor and resource, the students joined a menopause-focused Facebook page to begin a dialogue. They posted a lengthy questionnaire asking about individual women’s experience and what advice they might give to women yet to enter this phase of life–advice they wish someone had given them.

Working with this feedback, the students undertook an exploration of themes: the colours of autumn (as the menopause is described as autumnal,) classically “feminine” shapes, and means of passing information from one generation to the next. Each step of the design process was fully considered and informed. The students’ evolving conversation, early sketches, concepts and progress notes can be found on their blog Mud Movement.

The result is sixty-six vessels presented as heirlooms meant to be passed down through generations of women.  Each contains a scroll to both collect and disseminate advice and stories about the menopause.

A selection of the work produced through the collaboration will be exhibited at World of Wedgwood in Stoke on Trent for the duration of the 2017’s British Ceramics Biennial (23rd Sept – 5th November). Emma Lacey will be giving a short presentation at the Ceramics and it’s Dimensions Congress on 5th October.  The theme of the Congress is ‘Can Ceramics Make a difference?’

You can also get the opportunity to view some of these vessels at our coming Menopause Awareness event on 2nd Oct 5.30-8pm. Refreshment & Massage sessions available

To find out more and book your free ticket follow the link

Eileen and CSM students
Eileen Bellot and CSM students
CSM vases
The vessels



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