Women’s Health Festival Combining Art and Health to Break Taboos

The Everywoman festival was set up by Julie Cornish, Colorectal Consultant Surgeon in 2023. The idea came from listening to many women who had been struggling for years with symptoms, thinking they were normal and not knowing where to go for help. By bringing together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists and other health professionals, the Everywoman festival is designed to educate, empower and support women and girls across a wide range of health conditions.

Following a successful first event in 2023, this year’s event in Cardiff, Insole court on Saturday 15th June is even bigger. Key topics this year include menopause, cancer survivorship, sexual health, IBS, endometriosis, mental health and many more.

The Everywoman festival has 6 speaker areas; main tent, cancer and survivorship, thrive through sport, Guthut, living with chronic conditions and education tent plus an arts area, expecting to attract around 3000 people on the day. The event combines talks from health professionals and patient advocates, with more than 80 additional practical workshops, support groups, charities, music and art.

One way that the festival tries to get people involved from different communities and across the generations is through art, which can promote conversations and expression. Beth Morris, from Beth Morris Workshops, works with the Everywoman Festival team and leads on the creative area. She has brought together national and international artists to create workshops that attendees can book onto as well as drop in art events that are part of the entry ticket for the festival.

Illustrator Hazel Mead will be using her diverse, poignant art to discuss topics not explored enough, while inviting us all to look at each other with empathy. Acclaimed illustrator Hazel Mead, will be exploring taboo subjects through the lens of her debut book, ‘Why Aren’t We Talking About This?’. Drawing from her extensive experience in commercial art across publishing, advertising, and branding, Hazel will use her diverse and poignant artwork to shed light on topics often shrouded in silence.

Vanessa Marr is the visionary founder of Domestic Dusters, a unique stitch craftivism project that has had a profound impact on women around the world. Through Domestic Dusters, Vanessa empowers women to express themselves creatively. Participants in the project stitch dusters adorned with words of empowerment, humour, and care, transforming everyday cleaning tools into symbols of strength and solidarity. She has collaborated with Katy Styles, the founder of the We Care campaign, to support unpaid carers in the UK. Vanessa Marr, founder of Domestic Dusters, and Katy Styles, founder of We Care, will be hosting an inspiring talk about their recent collaboration where they used craftivism to translate the lived experience of unpaid carers from across Wales into a display of hand-embroidered dusters. These cloths, selected for the invisibility they share with caring roles, were strung across the Welsh Senedd and presented to MPs, calling for improved rights. Unpaid care is a role predominantly fulfilled by women, a cause that both Vanessa and Katy support passionately.

Black & Beech was founded with a mission to make conscious, purposeful, feminist-informed fashion. Stacey Grant Thornton is the founder and will host a workshop where participants learn to how to craft an empowering plaque that resonates with their own personal values and principles.

Melin Edo is the visionary behind the audacious brand Lil Titsy. Dive into Melin’s inspiring story of overcoming challenges and adversity, which propelled her into a career in design where she champions bold, feminine self-expression. Lil Titsy isn’t just a brand- it’s a rebellion against patriarchal norms, crafted for those who revel in clever wordplay and adore typography.

Naseem Syed in a Welsh, Persian multidisciplinary artist, craftivist and director of Ziba Creative (@zibacreativeuk). Her art is rooted in her mixed heritage, nurturing creativity, humanity and nostalgia. She has created a movement called Radical Kindness to spread happiness and joy through the power of the pom pom. Naz is offering a drop-in workshop session where people can craft body-positive pom-poms, each in the shape of breasts.

@Bigvagenda are running a workshop designed to empower and inform those vulva-owning people to help spread the beauty of vulvas and ultimately destigmatize them. Attendees can drop in and have fun, learning the anatomy of the vulva and draw their own representation.

@Femigami will be holding a playful and thought-provoking drop-in art workshops using the art of feminist origami. Explore the power of unconventional paper creations that celebrate all bodies. Through each fold, discover a new dimension of self-expression and empowerment.

Emma Prentice is a community artist based who will be helping you craft unique badges that speak volumes about what it means to be a woman as part of her drop-in workshop. Using magazines, collage, and words, we’ll transform simple materials into powerful statements that you can wear proudly on your sleeves.

“I’m really proud of how we created something so special last year, that was relaxed, fun and informative. It really made a difference to some peoples lives to attend and find out how to fix problems they had had for years.” Julie Cornish, Colorectal consultant surgeon and founder of the Everywoman festival. “By combining these amazing art events we want to add colour into the event and allow people to have something to take home to remind them of the day as well.”

Tickets for the Everywoman festival are available at everywomanfest.com

Saturday June 15th 2024, Cardiff, Insole Court

Adult entry tickets cost £20 and youth tickets £10, which include more than 60 speakers and the drop-in art sessions are included in the event which starts at 10:30am and finishes at 6pm. Additional paid art workshops are £10. For more information visit the website (everywomanfest.com) or follow on social media (@theeverywomanfestival).