Make room Vagina Monologues, the British are coming! British artist Jamie McCartney has a goal: to change female body image through art. Over the course of five years, McCartney self-funded and created a very powerful woman loving exhibit: a 9 meter long sculpture that contains 400 plaster casts of women’s vulvas. Spectacle & education together? Yes. “Knowledge is power. Freedom from genital anxiety is the goal”.
The women range in age from 18 to 76. Mothers and daughters, twins, and transgendered women and men, pre and post birth and labiaplasty are included. Our delicate lady parts can be spaces of eroticization and embarrassment, empowerment and gaze, wonderment and fascination. What is certain is that no woman’s vulva is the same. And it’s variety and variancy, as well as a sense of real appreciation for each of our va jay-jay’s embodying a real O’Keefe-like, flowering beauty, that this exhibit celebrates.
According to McCartney, “It’s time our society grew up around these issues and I’m certain that art has a role to play.”
Yes, yes it does! We need more art and culture that counters the strange and distorted images that both women and men are continually bombarded with. The incessant advertising and images in mainstream media tells us that our differences, as well as our aging, are not ok, that we are to be fixed so that we all look the same; we ought to nip, tuck, and plump our parts to stay looking “youthful” or to fit some image of what an attractive woman looks like. In this world of fake nails and boob implants, botox injections and butt plumps, and even using seal eyelashes as “lengtheners” we need more feminist art that celebrates our body differences and natural beautiful more than ever.
And let me just mention: Jamie McCartney is a man. I can not tell you how much I love and appreciate that a man is so unabashedly and progressively celebrating our lady bits in such a bold, non-erotic way. Thank you Mr. McCartney! Viva la Vulvalution indeed!
See more images, read the 2016 new years resolutions around loving the great V, and learn more about the project here: http://www.greatwallofvagina.co.uk/home