Why I make these….
October 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
(Please be aware this post contains slightly graphic images )
Today my husband asked me why I make these felt pieces. I call them Flower/Vagina, and I have just finished four to go on sale at the Australian Goddess Conference in Sydney this weekend.
What sparked our discussion was this photo I shared on Facebook:
It is a shirt made by American Apparel, and has apparently sold out (read more here). I would not wear this out in public (as I feel strongly about children being protected from adult images), but I would have this as an artwork hanging on my wall.
I shared the photo, as I tend to do with vagina themed photos or articles.
Sol doesn’t get it.
Our discussion has made me ponder things, so as to articulate my position more. And I have to keep coming back to myself…..
My mother was not negative about my body, or beginning menstruation. She wasn’t overly positive either. As I grew into adolescence however, somewhere along the way I had picked up the belief that my body and its processes were something to be ashamed of. In my twenties I worked consciously to reverse these beliefs, to see menstruation as something positive and to love and appreciate my body.
I don’t know many women who naturally love themselves or their bodies, or feel positive about menstruation. I don’t expect a man to understand growing up with negative connotations attached to one’s own body and gender. We live in a society where masculine qualities are held up as the standard to which everyone should strive. ‘Female’ qualities are often derided and shamed, and menstruation is generally perceived as a negative experience.
I am not a man. I am a woman, with different hormones, a different body, and even a brain that is wired differently. All I want is for my reality to be reflected somewhere out there in my world. I believe in balance and unity between female and male energies in the world, so I think there is space for more positive woman-centred images, energy, and ways of being.
I want to carve a little space for myself, amongst all the noise that says being female is being less than. And this is why I make these felt pieces. The very first one was for a very special friend and Women’s Business Medicine Woman (for want of a better title). As she celebrated 50 and her Harvest time in life, I created a piece that reflected her life’s purpose as a role model, teacher, healer and friend for women. Since then I have been asked to make more, and so I do.
I don’t force them on anybody. I share photos and people can choose to look or look away. They are going on sale at a place filled with like-minded women, who will probably love them. And if I contribute to even one woman feeling better about herself, her body or her nature as a woman, then what I am doing has purpose.
At the very least it makes me happy to be creating something with my hands, which fosters more of my own self love and self acceptance.