“This exhibition is so important to challenge the shame, doubt & insecurity for women in a misogynist culture where the very place of pleasure & bearing of life is treated as the most degrading thing of all!
I was thrilled to bring my 3yr old daughter along, and set her on the path for having pride of her vagina, her self, her future pleasure, her body & it’s life giving abilites, & to make sure she’s empowered!
Her joy at seeing all the vaginas was the best example to me to be empowered also, and to step away from that shame & embrace that inner feminine in me!
Thanks for doing this & showing the world our vaginas are to be celebrated! xx”
Story submitted at the Sydney 101 Vagina exhibition 27-30 June 2013.
In May I visited Sydney with the express purpose of finding a venue to host the 101 Vagina Exhibition and Festival of the Vagina. After a bunch of too-ing and fro-ing I returned to Melbourne empty handed. Then 107 Projects gallery space came through with one week available just 4 weeks out, at the end of June.
So I spent 4 frantic weeks organising things to make the exhibition and festival happen in Sydney, along with some fantastic help.
As in Melbourne we had to set up a whole new hanging system that makes hanging 101 photos + 101 messages manageable.
Long story short, here are the photos :)
101 Vagina Book review and article in Ciao Magazine online today. Print version will follow.
Gutsy to use an image showing a vagina page from the book!
See the article here: http://www.ciaomagazine.com.au/101-lady-gardens/
Also, see this article in Ciao about children and the 101 Vagina project:
101 Vagina Book Exhibition is part of the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Fest !
Dates: Wed 25 September – Sun 6 October 2013
Times: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun: 12-5 pm
Opening night: Thursday 26 Sept: 6 – 9 pm
Venue: Colour Factory: 409 -429 Gore Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
Melbourne Fringe event page:
See feedback here.
See video interviews of visitors to the exhibition here.
This morning I was finally called in to witness the beginning of the offset print run for the 101 Vagina book, after lots of time spent poring over proofs and making adjustments to images etc. Not to mention over two years of working on the project.
Even though there have been so many things I have experienced in the duration of this project that I could not have foreseen, when I first printed the first draft copy on my own printer I realised that my vision was being birthed exactly the way I had initially envisioned it :)
So, it was with great pleasure that I was able to visit the printer and see the first pages come whizzing off the press. And whiz they do! It easily pumps out 100 pages per minute at of A1 size pages. These pages are then folded and cut, but that’s the next chapter.
After over two years in the making 101 Vagina is finally giving birth :)
101 Vagina – Book Launch and Exhibition
Date: Friday 22 March 2013
Venue: 1000 Pound Bend – 361 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne
Times: Book launch event: 6m – 10pm | Exhibition: 10am – 10pm
101 Vagina is about breaking down the taboos and shame that many women feel around their genitals and bodies in general. It celebrates uniqueness and diversity, thereby confronting the lies we are told about what’s normal and where beauty lies.
The book comprises 101 beautiful black and white photos, accompanied by a message from or about each woman’s vagina to the world. 101 Vagina is therefore also very much about the sharing of story, experience and wisdom. The messages written by the women in the book (and on the blog) are candid and span the spectrum of emotions. They form a small compendium of women’s intimate experience with their own genitalia, sexuality and sometimes, the very essence of what womanhood means to them. It is these messages that give the book it’s depth and invite the reader to consider the subject more deeply.
The book launch event will be a mini Festival of the Vagina. Many other artists, educators and even politicians, will contribute to turn the evening into the kind of celebration that vaginas deserve, in stark contrast to the taboo with which they are burdened.
The exhibition will comprise the entire contents of the book and the book will be available for sale.
Toni Childs wrote the foreword for the book and will hopefully be able to attend (to be confirmed).
A small voluntary donation may be sought on the door to help cover event costs.
Festival of the Vagina: Book launch event
Spoken word : Dance : Art Installations : Vagina Monologue : Live Music : Video : Education : Burlesque : Vulva Cushion : Comedy : Victorian Roller Derby League : Chai : Vulva Muffins : And more :
: Women’s Health Victoria : Australian Sex Party :
As a point of curiosity, one of the galleries I applied to to host the exhibition was the No Vacancy gallery in the QV building. The gallery owner was happy to offer me the space but he was overruled by the actual building owners, Colonial First State (Commonwealth Bank) due to the nature of the exhibition.
Ironically the QV Centre is on the site of the old Queen Victoria Hospital. Their website (http://www.qvwc.org.au/about-us/history) has this to say about it’s history:
The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital 1946 – 1987
The second era saw pioneering work in the field of women’s and children’s health, building on the great strides in women’s health care that had already made since the ‘Queen Vic’ was founded in 1896 ‘for women, by women’. During this era Dame Kate Campbell’s insights put the hospital at the forefront of work in the care of premature babies. Other notable firsts included the appointment of interpreters’ enabling hospital staff to be trained in up to 20 languages, the creation of Australia’s first midwife-led Birth Centre, gender dysphoria clinic and Centre Against Sexual Assault in the 1970s and an internationally renowned IVF programme pioneered by Dr Lorna Lloyd-Green.
“It should be the obstetrician’s duty to ‘seek to determine not what the woman can endure, but what she can accomplish.”
– Dr Lorna Lloyd-Green, ‘Queen Vic’ obstetrician
Before I even knew of this history I could see the media release headline in my minds eye:
“Commonwealth Bank rejects vagina exhibition.”
Well, it may still happen, keep your eye on the news ;)
Over the weekend (7-10 December 2012) the draft copy of 101 Vagina had a gentle outing at the Folk Rhythm and Life festival in North Eastern Victoria.
It was a bit scary putting the book out in public for the first time like this, but it turned out to be very heart warming to watch people engage with the book, often a couple or a few friends sitting together leafing through the pages and either reading silently or discussing the many and varied related issues.
Also very touching to see the book touch some people quite strongly, the book seems to carry a gentle power.
Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos at the festival but here is what was there and below are the messages people wrote in the note pad.
“What does my vagina have to say to the world? Hello child. You’re the best part of me. For Ben from Cass xx”
Finally someone wants to hear what I think! here goes….
This morning i was so Agitated! My Owner had me suffocated & trapped in a lace heat chamber!! After subjecting me to a Number of workshops & painting i was finally treated to An exciting excursion to the cool Refreshing Dam. YAY for me!
:) Lots of Love
“From my penis to it’s darling vagina.
Many places I have been, much warmth has this universe saturated me in, always hoping this will be my home. You hug me intensely, squeeze and squeeze and then relax. You want me to stay and there could be nothing I want more. Being close with you is the purpose of my whole day, I wish nothing but to share in your joy, give, and take from all our inglorious untold astral travels together. You are the gate and keeper to the only place that makes sense. You need nothing to understand me, your acceptance of me makes up for every wrong in the world, nothing else matters when you call for me. You have my every attention, I listen to you with my eyes, ears, my nose, and every inch of my intention, everything I am, is for you. My temple, I bow to you. You humble me and I thrive for/because of you.”
“Giver of human life
Wow so many things to say!!
All vaginas are beautiful in all their shapes & sizes. Everyone I have seen perfect in it’s own right.
Mine, wow, the joy & pleasure it brings! The fun, the liquid meltingness of interaction with myself or another.
I couldn’t live without my pussy :)
The delicate intricate nature of female orgasms, a special secret formula of each individual woman.
Vagina I couldn’t ask for more thank you!!
You’re the best.”
“Special life force!
Treasured, Loved & adored