Reclaiming the Breast – OriginsPosted: September 25, 2013 Filed under: reclaiming the breast | Tags: breastfeeding Leave a comment
So, I have come to the end of my masters degree in Graphic Design. I have also been pregnant and had a baby since I updated this blog. This is relevant, as it shaped the last, major project of my course.
This project began life rather organically. All the work undertaken during the course of this Masters degree has had several things in common. The themes throughout have been based in the domestic environment, encouraging the audience to feel comfortable either in surroundings familiar to them, or reclaiming space that is not theirs. And…most crucially, most of my work has involved craft and making.
My work has always had a light hearted and fun element, with a focus on inclusivity.
The actual ‘cause’ that this project eventually championed was not something that was initially on my radar when I the course began.
Circumstances dictated that change of focus. My fine art background ensured that the end result was arrived at albeit by circuitous means.
My favourite ‘piece’ from previous projects was a pair of silicone breasts. These were made simply because they would look and feel nice to hold. As an extension of the module, which involved manufacturing giant eyes for people to have in their homes, to encourage feelings of safety, the boobs were also there to engender comfort and security (but I was also aware they would be sexual and fun in a Benny Hill kind of way).
I liked how the silicone and wooden breasts I made, took on a much more benign and tactile existence when removed from the more realistic and photographic image of breasts. They became something which could be seen in public, rather than being pornographic and hidden from young eyes.
Children love breasts: they brought them sustenance and comfort as babies.
Another major factor was the fact that I enjoyed making the breasts, both in process and design. Choosing the shapes and colours was very satisfying.
Deciding the context in which to carry this forward was another natural decision. In July 2012, I found out I was pregnant and began to see my own breasts in an entirely different context.
My boobs became a tool of the trade and a way of making my child thrive; the most natural thing in the world without which the human race would not exist.