“An Ode to My Vagina” work at Human Manifesto, CSM

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Process photos from screen-printing my illustration and poem piece “An Ode to My Vagina”. So far I only have the one finished print which I put into the Human Manifesto exhibition at CSM, ran jointly by the ArtsFem and LGBTQ societies at UAL, but I intend to print a limited run of this colour scheme, and others, to sell as prints. The illustration was drawn in pencil then gone over in pen, and scanned then cleaned up on Photoshop before I took it to the printmaking studios, and the poem (originally written on my phone) was also handwritten, scanned, and edited on Photoshop before printing.

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These photos show the piece being put up in the exhibition, and a few shots of the piece surrounded by other works in the show. Overall I am very happy with the presentation of my work, and of the response I got from attendees, so I would consider this a success, even though the text is slightly off centre on the illustration (something I will correct when I print more copies in print making).

This piece is deeply personal to me- as a non binary person I have always struggled with accepting my body, and in particular my vagina. For most of my life I hated it and wished it didn’t exist, and only saw it as existing for the pleasure of my sexual partners, not myself. Over the last few years I have been trying to accept, and eventually love, my body the way it is, which is very difficult when you have a lifetime of self hatred and self loathing built into your brain, and as part of this I started masturbating. Previously it was something I viewed as disgusting and dirty, something unnatural, but at the same time I felt broken for having no experience of it, so gradually discovering my body and coming to terms with my vagina’s existence, and my own independence (free of the burden of sexually gratifying others) has been a long journey. Many non binary people, trans men, and cis women have similar struggles with their bodies, but with this piece of work I speak purely for myself, and my own body.

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