Leila Abrahams

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

Chronic Medicine

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Pain

These are the experiences of those who suffer from an invisible chronic illness, Lupus. Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the immune system starts to attack vital organs such as the brain or kidney etc. Symptoms of this disease include joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety and many more. There is currently no cure for Lupus but it can be ‘managed’ through chronic medication.

I was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) in 2012 at the age of 12. Since my diagnosis it has been a battle to navigate the challenges of this disease by myself. Having to take chronic medication is just one of these challenges.

This is the main conceptual focus of my works. They talk about my life experiences with regards to Lupus, however I am concentrating more on the physical intake of chronic medication and the emotional journey I went through.

I used to take 40 pills per day. This overwhelming number led to my denial and depression in taking chronic medication. My works speak specifically to the overwhelming nature of chronic medication and the waves of emotion that accompany the acceptance of taking your medication daily.

The subject of chronic medication led to the use of pharmaceuticals such as empty blister packs and gel capsules as my materials of choice. These materials take medication out of its conventional sense and, in their large scale, allude to the feeling of unease.

It is my hope that my works comfort those who suffer similar illnesses and help them feel seen and understood. For others, I hope that it opens their eyes and minds to the experience of those with invisible chronic illnesses and the challenges they face.