WHAT: dinahvagina‘s art exhibition. Dinah is a current student of Carmarthen School of Art.
WHEN: Saturday 27th June 2015 (following a four-hours-sleep-post-Ibiza trip)
WHERE: The New Designers Exhibition, Angel, which features 3000 of the most promising graduate talents from Britain’s leading design courses.
THOUGHTS: I can’t say I really think of female genitalia as art. In fact, I can’t say I think of female genitalia much at all.
That was until, through a chance facebook post by a dance friend, I met artist Dinah. Her aim is quite simply to express “the joy of being a woman”. Her work – an array of vaginas, clitorises (or is it clitori?) and pubic hair is a statement and campaign – against broadcast and social media that only discusses the aforementioned in a pornographic context.
The interactive vagina wall (an expression I never thought I would write on littleprincebilly… or indeed, in life) embodies variety – of menstruation, imperfections, self-decoration (hello, vajazzle), and during my time at the Exhibition, was a fascinating opportunity to people-watch.
You are encouraged to explore; to touch; to feel; to react. At first, most people do not realise the true intention of the wall when they approach. Having interacted with a number of pieces, the meaning becomes clear and reactions are unpredictable.
Some are embarrassed and shuffle away silently. But many are curious, intrigued. They start discussions with Dinah – about the shape of the clitoris (and the fact that it has much erectile tissue as a penis)… about the existence of pubic hair… about everyday sexism.
Dinah’s work may appear daring, frivolous or extreme. But importantly, it sparks debate: on relevant and serious topics such as female genital mutilation, rape and misogyny. And the liberation and power that comes from women being knowledgeable about their bodies.
Whether a pubic hair tea cup is your (metaphorical and literal) cup of tea or not, having met Dinah and discussing her work I felt empowered to be not only female, but human. This is true artistry.
To learn more about Dinah and her work, visit her website.