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Art and ME

Art has the power to inspire, to evoke reflection, to see things differently, to force change - and when trying to get a message across then sometimes it may become easier when using art – enabling something unsaid to be understood.

As we come to the end of year that has caused so much sadness then at this point we take a pause – a full stop to reflect – a dot.

One Stupid Dot

It is several years since Stacy Hart's poem One Stupid Dot was included in our Journal of IiMER.

Me and M.E, how can ‘One Stupid Dot’ makes all the difference.

This brilliant, unique poem was last year given a new mode of expression and understanding with this excellent video from What's Up TV.

Matchsticks and ME - with Art from Wolfgang Stiller

Some while ago famous German artist Wolfgang Stiller was approached by Janet Smart to use Wolfgang’s renowned Matchstick art in order to raise awareness of ME.

Janet and the Let’s Do It For ME team came up with slogans for five of Wolfgang’s images.

IiMER then got to work on producing texts around these images and how they relate to ME.

The result was the Matchstick booklets.

These booklets were distributed to many countries and to healthcare staff, hospitals, doctors, universities, politicians and the media.

We are hoping we can produce more when funds permit.

Art and ME

At the 2019 14th Invest in ME Research International ME Conference in London artist Yasmin Crawford displayed some of her artwork.

Yasmin has a background in the life sciences and healthcare, but her career in this area was curtailed when she was diagnosed with ME in 2013. She decided to do an MA in photography at Falmouth University and her work has explored many aspects of ME by using photography and the visual arts to express the hidden impacts and the attempts to self-manage and emotions of the condition..

Yasmin had been filming at the Quadram Institute, photographing the IiMER-funded researchers and producing beautiful and intriguing views that blended science and art.

The display was well received.

The Quadram recently highlighted Yasmin's work in this article -

At this year's Patient Forum held at Quadram Institute in Norwich Research Park Rebecca Osbourne contemperaneously created this stunning piece of art which was an aggregation of the presentations being given to describe the work involved in the forthcoming RESTORE-ME clinical trial.
This unique way of combining science and art to convey information now also adorns the IiMER web site -


With social media nowadays prevalent in all campaigns there is rarely a lack of video or film to help get a message across. Yet it may be harder to find examples that also transmit a message in an elegant and considered way.

Invest in ME Research are part of the European ME Alliance(EMEA) and our EMEA Swedish colleagues produced a beautifully simple yet effective video about severely affected patients – The Invisible Ones – On Severe ME/CFS

When the media is often just looking for soundbites and superficial headlines then art can help make a difference for educating the public about ME.

Further Reading:

  1. What's Up - One Stupid Dot

  2. Matchsticks and ME

  3. The Invisible Ones

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