The Great Wall of Vagina is of great socio-political importance and is a highly provocative response to the exponential rise in cosmetic labial surgeries. By confronting the viewer and revealing the diversity of female genital appearance, the sculpture opposes any notion of a singularly “perfect” aesthetic, thereby forcing society to rethink its relationship with the vulva.
There is now a website dedicated to the sculpture which has much more information, news of exhibitions, comments etc.
5 years in the making, it was finally completed in early 2011. Comprising 400 plaster casts of women’s genitals arranged in ten panels, the polyptych spans nine meters in length. I included as broad a demographic as I could, with volunteers coming from all walks of life and ranging from 18 to 76 years of age. Casts of mothers and daughters, identical twins, trans men and women all feature; so too do those of a pre and post-natal woman, as well as, rather provocatively, a woman before and after a labiaplasty operation.
In creating this work, I set out to alleviate the needless anxiety that is driving so many women to contemplate cosmetic genital surgery. The accompanying Great Wall of Vagina book includes over 100 moving testimonies of women who took part. These accounts speak of individual empowerment and a sense of liberation that is echoed by those who experience the work. Copies of the book and other Great Wall of Vagina products are available from the web shop.
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