ONE SMALL SEED MAGAZINE Issue #28 Digital 03 - Page 35

British artist Jamie McCartney embarked on a project in 2009 to change female body perceptions through art! The final product of ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’ includes plastercasts of 400 women’s vulva’s (the more accurate anatomical name for the external genital female organs). McCartney said that ‘For many women their genital appearance is a source of anxiety and I was in a unique position to do something about that’. Reactions from the participants, varying from 18-76 years old, were positive, including this comment: ‘Looking at it from a cast I was quietly surprised. I thought it was beautiful… I was really pleased with it’. one small seed interviewed McCartney in 2011, in our article ‘The Great Wall of Vagina,’ that continues to receive feedback today. Jenna Saras commented on our facebook page saying that: ‘I think the female form is an art on its own, and considering that there are some women out there that have never seen their own works of art, I’d say this is a good thing’. Others, such as Rudi Stroebel, would have preferred not to see the artwork at all: ‘I just threw up… in my mouth… a little bit!’ ‘I JUST THREW UP… IN MY MOUTH… A LITTLE BIT!’ The idea that there are some women out there who haven’t seen their vagina’s up close and personally, suggests that despite the media’s desensitization of the vagina, women (and men) haven’t caught up yet. Not all of them anyway… Luxemburg-based artist Deborah De Robertis, spread her legs and held open her vulva at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, June 2014. De Robertis sat under the controversial 19th century painting titled ‘The Origin of the World’ by Gustave Courbet showing a woman’s vagina and abdomen. Why? Was this just a provocation to attract attention, or a defiant act disguised as art? In De Robertis’ own words: ‘What I did is not an impulsive act. It is very thought-through.’ She further clarified that she is challenging the role that confidence plays in connection with the naked female body, or the representation of it. This article will probably reach more people on our social media platforms than any other article in this magazine. You are reading this, (if you hung around after figuring out that the article is really about), because we stuck the word ‘vagina’ in the title. Is anything sacred anymore? Are there any shock tactics left out there? Use the comment box below to voice your opinions…