Imagine with me the following:
You invite some friends over for tea and dessert.
You set your table with your new centre-piece (a vagina shaped votive holder), place some tea cups and saucers down (with a vagina inspired print) and dust off the vagina shaped pillows and plush uterus on your couch.
The doorbell rings. You answer the door. Your friends are standing in the entrance-way staring at you wide-eyed, mouths dropped.
Of course you know right away that they are staring at your uterus shaped fanny pack and the vulva shaped pendant hanging from your neck. As they walk in and see your new decor they find it to be, well somewhat weird.
I’ll admit, when I first came across the products of Vulva Love Lovely I was a bit surprised. But as I went through their product gallery and read the personal testimony about the artist, I fell in love with her work and mission to help women realize the beauty of their bodies and the importance of self-respect in matters of menstrual, vaginal and sexual health. Vulva Love Lovely is also an advocate for social change, using their profits for good, by donating their reusable pads (available for purchase) to developing nations. Vulva Love Lovely is just one example of how women are using art to express their concerns for reproductive and menstrual health.
Another example is the artist, Vanessa Tiegs who has used her own menstrual blood to paint canvases with images of the menstrual cycle experience.
Tiegs’ collection, Menstrala took three years to complete and resulted in 88 beautiful canvassed expressions of the menstrual cycle. Like Vulva Love Lovely’s social cause, Tiegs has donated a portion of her sales to The Center of Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research at the University of British Columbia. (If you are curious about how she preserved her menstrual blood, you may find this article to be of interest).
Other notable menstrual art designs include menstrual cup bags, hand embroidered vagina art, uterus print t-shirts, vulva patches, vagina print iPod cases and beautifully patterned reusable pads, which can all be found on Etsy.
Although these pieces of art may not have found a home in our wardrobe or living room yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become a popular decorating trend in the future. Plus, it is exciting to know that women are using topics such as menstruation as inspiration for their art. As something so personal and also (literally) “create-ive” I think it is only fit that we express this experience, and all of its important attributes, in our art.