The word ‘Hysterical’ (and all its variations) has its origins in Ancient Greek. The Greek word hystera means ‘womb’ or ‘uterus’. In Classical Greece, it was believed that a ‘wandering womb’ or displaced uterus caused emotional problems in women: hysteria. The term ‘wandering womb’ is literal. The Greeks literally believed the uterus could move around inside a woman’s body.
This poster was designed for ‘The Art of Protest’ exhibition which was held in Dublin, ahead of the referendum in May 2018. The exhibition was organised by Vote for Women, an initiative for voting to repeal the 8th Amendment. We chose the theme of women and bodily autonomy, and were inspired by this notion of the wandering womb — how archaic and inhumane this thinking sounded, and how the status quo in Ireland at the time was not far from it. Using the poster as a means to express our thoughts and feelings in the run up to the referendum, we wrote a haiku to depict a mood in and of that moment in time.