The Anatomy Lesson Documents
I've completed the pages of The Missing Triangle, the book art part of The Anatomy Lesson Project. In my book I'm 'restoring' the illustration in a 16th century textbook on anatomy from which the owner cut away a neat triangle where the vagina was drawn, because such imagery was considered taboo in his (!) days. For my book I used a sketchbook and stamped each page with a clay stamp I carved in the shape of a vagina. I used three stylised designs. Their shape reminds me of Nancy Spero's 1990 imagery on The Goddess Nut, a handprinted and collage printed diptych.
Lots of vagina images, fertility symbols etc, were made in prehistoric times, folklore and contemporary art. I added a few of my favorites in a slideshow below. My imagery, the stamps themselves and the printed images, connect with what in feminist art theory is referred to as 'core imagery, vaginas and vulvas,' as made by Judy Chicago, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marlene Dumas, Zoe Leonard, Mira Schor, to name a few. It's no surprise that some of these artworks resemble what I came up with, and I love discovering these synchronicities. Like for instance an abstract work by Bolivian artist Maria Luisa Pacheco, titled 'Wila,' of 1972. (I read that wila, as an Anglicized from of güila is slang for prostitute in Mexico?) Doesn't it look similar to my triangle clay stamp? I also found that the printed image of my triangular stamp looked like a world map, which prompted me to title it 'L'origine du Monde,' an interpretation of Courbet's famnous painting. I'll come back to that painting in a later document btw.
What I need to do next is work on the book cover, I stamped it and will paint over that next, giving it a sort of subtle embossed effect. Then, the book art part of The Anatomy Lesson will be done. The Anatomy Lesson is a feminist body of work addressing the way women's bodies were/are approached in art and science. The project comprises painting, sculpture, bookmaking and monotype printing. More on my site viewing room dedicated to the project.
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