News and Views
News and Views about the project.
101 Vagina snuck into New York via NOoSPHERE Arts gallery in the Lower East Side (where all the hipsters live).
New York being New York, one night when I was out putting posters up around the place for the exhibition, I walked past a production set in a little park in Soho. It was for an episode of HBO’s popular TV series Girls.
Long story short, I got the book into the hands of Lena Dunham via the assistant director who had noticed one of the posters I put up!
Hey, Lena, want to incorporate an exploration of the book into one of you episodes? :) Well, that would turn the New York leg of the tour into a fairy tale, but you know, they sometimes come true, right?
Anyway, the exhibition was a success attracting many curious passers-by off the street along with those who’d heard about it.
Next stop, Toronto !
I was very happy to be back in Montreal after my first visit there around 6.5 years earlier. At that time I was enjoying record snow falls not seen in 50 years, this time it was spring! :)
May curious passers-by walked in since the gallery had window frontage onto a semi-busy street.
I was very happy to have a sexologist Josée Leboeuf, B.A., M.A. come and speak at the opening night :)
A couple of days before the opening I was interviewed by a new quarterly women’s mag, Magazine Muses, and they got an article online the next day.
And now, a week after the exhibition there closed a review come out in LaPresse, one of the largest newspapers in Montreal :)
On top of that, on the last day of the exhibition a TV station came in to record for one of their episodes. It’s a new series which follows a man and a woman (they are stars in Montreal apparently) who explore various aspects of sexuality. That episode was about the body. Was great to be a part of it and I’m really looking forward to the outcome.
Last but not least I have to say that the gallery owners of Le repaire des 100 talents, Luc and Adeleine, were very gracious and supportive hosts. I’m very grateful for all their support.
And here’s a few photos as usual :)
Ah, San Francisco !
I had wanted SF to be the first city I visited in the tour, it being the beacon of all things sexually progressive in the USA, but the simple reality of gallery availability meant that this came after LA.
Sexuality Educator Lenae St.John come in and give her perspective on the issue, and while in SF I managed to get a bunch of books to the Good Vibrations stores which I was really happy about.
There was also space in the gallery for a vagina crafternoon table and for another artist’s vagina art, which for me was the highlight of the exhibition there. People’s creativity continues to blow me away :)
So, here’s a few images of the exhibition.
I was honoured by Dr Berta Davis’ attendance at the L.A. launch of the 101 Vagina book on 5th April 2014. A couple of days later I caught up with her for an interview.
Dr Davis speaks about the 101 Vagina book from her perspective of having been a Sex Therapist for 30 years, clinical psychologist for 35 years, and currently running the couple and sex therapy training program at UCLA.
“I think the book is doing something that no other piece of literature has done … to have been able to capture the aesthetics of femininity as well as the personal narrative.”
Berta has a charming, positive, kind and humble presence and it was a great pleasure and honour to meet with her and receive such a strong endorsement of the 101 Vagina book.
Often in today’s culture we seem to value pop psychology, bombastic claims and numbers of followers over simple, humble experience gained over many years of dedicated work. Dr Davis stands as a great testament to the value of the latter!
See Dr Davis’ website here: http://bertadavis.com
Recorded 7th April 2014 at Dr Davis’ office in Encino, CA.
Gave a book away to a woman who just sat and cried in front of one of the photos and stories.
Whoever you are, I made this book for you!
This is why I created this project. There is so much healing needed around these issues, and every time I exhibit I see people being moved, being touched, and having their hearts and minds opened.
At the opening here in San Francisco there was a small group of boisterous young men present. They were not disrespectful but hadn’t yet engaged with the stories. They asked which one to read and I pointed them straight to the woman who’d been on the verge of cutting her own labia with a pair of scissors as a teenager.
Like everyone else they became absorbed in the ocean of emotion and feeling expressed in the stories.
It is a complex set of issues and emotions to find yourself confronted with. I have the sense that the lighter stories and funny quips actually do a lot to open people to the deeper and darker stories and experiences. If all the messages were ones of trauma people would perhaps keep some sort of guard up, to prevent themselves from feeling overwhelmed. And if it was only light and funny, people would dismiss it as too superficial.
But because trauma is interspersed with laughter and joy, the same way life is, people remain open and unable to either dismiss the lighter side, nor guard against the darker.
Again and again I see how powerful this work is.
Saturday 5 April – Sunday 13 April, 2014
Sat 5 April, 6-9pm
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave, Suite #200
101 Vagina successfully launched in the USA at the Exhibition and Book Launch in Los Angeles at Think Tank Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles.
I can’t believe that it’s only been two and a half weeks since I got on the plane in Sydney on my way to Los Angeles, and now the first of my six city tour of USA and Canada is already done.
Thanks so much to the amazing crew at Think Tank Gallery, in particular Jacob Patterson. I was honoured to be at their space and felt very supported.
So, what’s happened since I got here?
Think Tank Gallery is a fantastic, huge space. I had a week to get over my jet lag and do some promo work getting flyers around the place and hanging a big banner out the front.
I was also super happy to have room for other artists to show their vagina art. Thanks to Mia Maldonado, Christiana, Morgan Miller and Ginger Liu!
This is the first time I’ve been able to hang all 101 images and messages in a single row, normally I need to double up.
People also jumped onto the vagina craft table with enthusiasm!
And as usual there we some great messages in the guest book.
And then it was all over.
San Francisco here I come !!!
Another exhibition is now lined up for the USA & Canada tour: Laguna Beach!
(Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art)
611 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach CA 92651
When I first arrived in L.A. I stayed with friends in Irvine and drove down to Laguna Beach to relax and get over my jetlag. After rolling my pants up and strolling down the beach, I happened past the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) and walked inside to have a look.
I was warmly greeted by Chritiana, herself an artist, and when I mentioned the exhibitions I was doing she told me that she herself had made vagina art! So I invited her to show her work at the 101 Vagina exhibition. She loved 101 Vagina and twisted the gallery owners arm into hosting 101 Vagina themselves at LGOCA.
Because the exhibition in Chicago had been cancelled I had the first week in May free. Turns out that suited LGOCA perfectly to coincide with Art Walk also.
On top of all this I was delighted to find out that LGOCA have a strong focus on humanitarian aid, supporting good causes. So 101 Vagina is a perfect fit, given that $5 from the sale of every book goes to charities helping victims and survivors of violence and sexual abuse.