The Great Wall of Vagina
THE GREAT WALL OF VAGINA is FINISHED!!. The world Premiere will be in the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2011
For this, my latest major sculpture, I cast, over the course of 5 years, the vaginas (well the vulva area in fact) of hundreds of volunteers. The Great Wall of Vagina is an exploration of women's relationships with their genitals. When I assembled the first panel of 40 casts in summer 2008, I stepped back disappointed. I realised the sculpture would need to be much bigger to have the impact I wanted. From this original piece (called Design A Vagina) has grown an epic sculpture. The final piece now has 400 casts arranged in 10 panels of 40.
"Why did I do it and what's it all about?" I hear you ask. Well, it became clear to me whilst working on a not dissimilar piece for a sex museum that many women have anxiety about their genital appearance. It appalled me that our society has created yet one more way to make women feel bad about themselves. I decided that I was uniquely placed to do something about it.
The sculpture comments on the trend for surgery to create the 'perfect' vagina. This modern day equivalent of female genital mutilation is a bizarre practice which suggests that one is better than another. Taste in nothing is universal and any desire for 'homogyny' could be very misguided. 400 casts arranged in this manner is in no way pornographic, as it might have been if photographs had been used. One is able to stare without shame but in wonder and amazement at this expos� of human variety. For the first time for many women they will be able to see their own genitals in relation to other women's. In doing so they may dispel many misconceptions they may have been carrying about what women look like 'down there'. The sculpture is serene and intricate and it works on many levels.
Included are identical twins, mothers and daughters and examples of male to female and female to male transsexuals. Ages range from 18 year old students to a grandmother of 76. I really wanted to include as many possibilities as I could. I spent the entire 5 years seeking a victim of female genital mutilation who would like to be included but sadly without success. The more inclusive and complete I could be in this survey the more power this sculpture would have.
***I will be creating one more panel of 40 casts to be auctioned for a women's charity. If you'd like to be cast for that please get in touch. NB Casting for the Great Wall of Vagina in now completed. ***
For more info get in touch via the Contact page...