Breaking Apart the Sick Girl Trope: Katie Hogben

Dates:27 October 2022 to 2 November 2022
Times:Thurs 27th Oct - 12 to 6pm, Fri 28th Oct to Tues 1st Nov - 10am to 6pm, Weds 2nd Nov - 10am to 1pm

Breaking apart the sick girl trope by Artist and Producer Katie Hogben is an exhibition of costume design exploring the tropes in storytelling associated with women who have a chronic illness or disability. This project is funded by Arts Council England.

Inspired by all forms of storytelling – including novels and short stories, plays and poetry, film and television, visual art and video games – the exhibition seeks to identify and explore through costume design common ‘sick girl’ stereotypes that are damaging or dangerous, and to present authentic alternatives. At the exhibition you will see brand new costume designs by Katie Hogben presenting ‘The Happy Flower Girl’ inspired by characters like Beth from Little Women, ‘The Beautiful Consumptive Heroine’ inspired by characters like Santine in Moulin Rouge, and ‘The Sexy Sinful Demon’ inspired by characters like Mimi in Rent or Lucy in Dracula.

All costumes in this exhibition are informed by a series of online creative discussion sessions, which women and non-binary people with personal experience of chronic illness or disability are invited to attend. At the end of the series, participants will be invited to create their own costume piece to express their authentic experiences as a challenge to the common tropes that abound in storytelling. These costumes will also feature in the exhibition.

Breaking apart the sick group trope as a project is running from April to September 2022. The exhibition private view is on Thursday 27th October, with the exhibition running from Friday 28th October – Wednesday 2nd November 2022.

Find out more about the project and how to be part of the online creative discussion sessions on the website:

Join us on Facebook: @Breaking apart the sick girl trope

Follow the artist on Instagram: @katieexplores

Banner image: A girl reads to a convalescent while a nurse brings in the patient’s medicine. Watercolour by R.H. Giles. Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Reference: Wellcome Library no. 18206i