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Sense of Stigma

Sat 10th August 2024 to Sun 29th September 2024

The Beaney How to get here

An exhibition by bio-artist Mellissa Monsoon.

  • Sense of Stigma
    Courtesy of artist Mellissa Monsoon
Mellissa Monsoon is an internationally recognised bio-artist whose work brings the invisible world of human anatomy to life. Her multidisciplinary practice ranges from illustration, printmaking, photography, film, sculpture, electronics and ceramics. Her groundbreaking visualisation of the invisible bacteria that live on our skin, Microbial Me, is on permanent display at the Eden Project in Cornwall since 2015, and is being created for an exhibition at the Hand Museum in Switzerland from June 2024-2026.

Monsoon’s visual realisations of the impact of invisible bacteria upon our lives have been featured on television and in galleries across the UK and internationally. The artist’s current research is focused on making sense of invisible symptoms of chronic health conditions through visual art. Her recent project Sense of Symptoms explores a brain condition, Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) and developed into a new project Sense of Stigma, looking at themes of body image and barriers in healthcare caused by stigma. This project is supported by IIH UK Charity and Arts Council England.

Sense of Stigma is an exhibition of printmaking, interactive art, ceramics and sculpture sharing  Monsoon’s lived experience and journey as a ‘fat woman’ in healthcare and society. Monsoon invites the public and healthcare professionals to engage with the exhibition respectfully, learning about how to speak about body types and taking part in workshops to make sense of the stigma through visual art; changing the way people see and speak about larger bodies.

The exhibition explores the barriers faced in healthcare through sharing experiences of women living with a brain condition; Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). This invisible condition affects predominantly women and has no known cause or cure. IIH has been heavily stigmatised as there is a correlation between having the condition and being overweight. Due to the stigma of obesity, there is limited understanding from healthcare professionals, many women feel isolated and unable to access healthcare needed to manage their condition.


Saturday 10 August – Sunday 29 September 2024 (Closed Mondays)

Free admission, donations encouraged

The Front Room, Ground Floor, The Beaney



September is IIH (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension) Awareness month, where the artist will be running workshops and having conversations with the public. This exhibition is supported by the Arts Council and IIHUK Charity.

Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2024 (more information coming soon)

Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

Get closer to The Beaney and immerse yourself in history, heritage, art and culture