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James Davis
James Davis

An Artist Made A Cast Of My Boobs Vulva! (108... ((BETTER))

I dabbled in casting throughout my degree, but only really got into it properly three years ago when I decided I wanted to try creating something which helped women and people with vulvas to fully accept and embrace themselves.

An Artist Made a Cast of My Boobs Vulva! (108...

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The 8 metre (26 feet) long wall sculpture consists of four hundred plaster casts of vulvas, all of them unique, arranged into ten large panels. Jamie set out to make this project as broad and inclusive as possible. The age range of the women is from 18 to 76. Included are mothers and daughters, identical twins, trans men and women as well as a woman pre and post natal and another pre and post labiaplasty and many others.

We are more and more conscious of the importance of raising awareness around breast and gynae health and getting to #knowyournormal. Would you say your work contributes to this? Do you do any partnerships, collaborations, or charity work around this?I really hope that my work is contributing to this! I actually put on an exhibition in October 2021, which was raising money for Coppafeel. The exhibition was held in a huge room which I filled with 100 boob casts. I also made specific ones that showed how to check your boobs, along with information all about it. There was a raffle involved and it was all to raise money for Coppafeel.

I had some lovely volunteers come to get cast, who had been through breast cancer or had the BRCA gene, and they all shared their stories. It was incredible and emotional. So many people told me they went away feeling much more aware of the importance of checking their boobs more often.

I have never had someone other than my partner or my doctor look at my vulva, so doing this was HUGE for me. Tamara helped me feel so comfortable and safe to relax and I am so inlove with my finished vulva cast!

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A sea of areola displayed like paintings, metallic looking blues, silvers and bright reds against the white paint. Amongst these and carefully stacked in piles, delicately craft casts of vulvas positioned, pride of place, upon a shelf. These body parts, so often ingrained to be hidden discretely beneath clothes, now hung unapologetically on display for all to see.

Each vulva cast is photographed stood upright, sculpture-style and placed in front of a paint-splattered pink backdrop. The clean white of the alginate mould capturing every single bump, curve and shape to near perfect accuracy, every one unique and different.

I am a Female Body Casting Artist working out of my studio in Brighton, UK. I make beautiful casts of diverse boobs, bums, tummies, and vulvas. Through my work I hope to help people celebrate their bodies and their differences, which we have often been taught to feel ashamed of for so long. Having grown up with huge insecurities with my own body, I see my work as a form of necessary therapy for some people, as well as being aesthetically beautiful and celebratory.

Lydia is a body casting artist based in Brighton, UK, and the creator of The Vulva Diversity Project; a 200-strong collection of vulva casts and 100 stories from their owners, all sharing their insecurities and journeys with this intimate and rarely-discussed part of the body. At Yoppie, we love to talk about all things vagina, so this was right up our street. Our editor Caitlin caught up with Lydia to find out more about the project, the most common insecurities, and how we can all feel better about our vulvas.

The original piece was made in 1951 (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris). In 1962 the Galleria Schwarz, Milan, made an edition of eight in bronze, of which this is number one. Two additional casts were made for the artist and Arturo Schwarz.

In 1866, Gustave Courbet painted a picture of a nude woman with her legs apart, entitled "The Origin of the World". When this was posted on Facebook 150 years later, it created a censorship controversy. Contemporary artists can still face backlash for depicting the female genitals; Megumi Igarashi was arrested for distributing a 3D digital file of her vulva. Works created since the advent of second-wave feminism circa 1965 range from large walk-through installations (Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely) to small hand-held textile art pieces. Sometimes these are explicitly works of feminist art: Judy Chicago created The Dinner Party to celebrate 39 women of history and myth, many of whom had fallen into obscurity. Other artists deny that their works reference the female genitalia, although critics view them as such; the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe are a case in point.

Sheela na gigs are 11th and 12th-century figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are architectural grotesques found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain, sometimes together with male figures. One of the best examples may be found in the Round Tower at Rattoo, in County Kerry, Ireland. There is a replica of the round tower sheela na gig in the county museum in Tralee town. Another well-known example may be seen at Kilpeck in Herefordshire, England.

From 1974 to 1979, Judy Chicago, a feminist artist, created the vulva-themed installation artwork "The Dinner Party". It consists of 39 elaborate place settings arranged along a triangular table for 39 mythical and historical famous women. Virginia Woolf, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Theodora of Byzantium are among those honoured. Each plate, except the one corresponding to Sojourner Truth (a Black woman), depicts a brightly-colored, elaborately styled butterfly-vulva form.[29] After it was produced, despite resistance from the art world, it toured to 16 venues in six countries to a viewing audience of 15 million.[30] Since 2007, it has been on permanent exhibition in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Chicago gave Georgia O'Keeffe a prominent place in The Dinner Party, because some modern feminists believe that O'Keeffe's detailed flower paintings such as Black Iris III (1926) evoke a veiled representation of female genitalia. O'Keeffe consistently denied the validity these Freudian interpretations of her art.[31]

On the other side of the world, another male artist conceived of a similar project at about the same time. Once he had the idea, Greg Taylor tried to persuade female artists to take it on, but they declined, so he pressed ahead, creating scores of white porcelain vulvas, "each individual portraits of different women, each as gripping as a face".[40] "CUNTS and other conversations" (2009) was deemed controversial for both its title and content, with Australia Post warning the artist that the publicity postcards were illegal.[41] The work was purchased by the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, after Taylor did one final cast, of the vulva of Kirsha Kaechele.[40]

A site-specific walk-through vagina was installed at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg in 2013, in the decommissioned women's prison that had held anti-apartheid activists such as Winnie Mandela. The artist, Reshma Chhiba, observed that "Not many people - men or women - are unfazed about walking through this vaginal canal." The soundtrack of laughter and screaming acted as "a battle cry which revolts against the prison". According to TimesLIVE, it was part of a larger multisite project entitled "The Two Talking Yonis" (yoni being the Sanskrit word for vulva)[49] The artist contextualized her work within the epidemic of sexual violence in South Africa, calling for respect for the female body.[50]

In Japan, artist Megumi Igarashi has drawn attention for her work featuring vaginas and vulvas, which she considers "overly hidden" in Japanese culture compared to male genitalia. In July 2014, Igarashi was arrested for distributing 3D data of her vulva to contributors to her crowdsource campaign. She has also made vagina-themed sculptures.[64] While police charged Igarashi for her vulva- and vagina-themed artworks, there are several phallus festivals in Japan in which participants parade with massive penis sculptures, a practice which is deemed acceptable by authorities.

Following advances in understanding the anatomy of the clitoris, 21st century artists and activists have taken on the task of representing the clitoris in contemporary art. Unlike the vulva, the clitoris is internal and therefore invisible. In 2016, Lori-Malépart Traversy made an animated documentary about the unrecognized anatomy of the clitoris.[74] In 2017, Alli Sebastian Wolf created a golden 100:1 scale model anatomical of a clitoris, called the Glitoris and said, she hopes knowledge of the clitoris will soon become so uncontroversial that making art about them would be as irrelevant as making art about penises.[75]

Why in the world would I drop trou for a stranger and let him apply casting material to my vulva -- literally the same glop that the dentist uses, but without the minty stuff? (Apparently the minty version was a bit too tingly for the models.)

I pulled my yoga pants back on when he'd finished, and he filled the molds with plaster, and in less then 30 minutes there were two plaster replicas of my vulva, each a little different because, as McCartney explains, it makes a cast of the vulva responding to the material it has on it.

It started with just making the casts of women's vulvas. But then the idea to tour them came to him, and the Great Wall of Vagina was born. Approximately $150,000 in time and materials later, the Wall hit the road in 2011.

Nothing better than dating someone who is proud of everything you do. And I mean everything, including the fact that my cast will be a part of a new piece that will have one cast of a woman's vulva from every state. How's this for irony? I'm Miss Texas! 041b061a72


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