Vulva Art Project 1

Caris Pepper
Visual Artist and Arts Therapist

Creative Revolution

#evulvalution #femessence

A collective journey of radical self acceptance, worth & opportunity to receive adoration.

My intention for this series of work is for increased embodiment and spiritual awareness. It’s an opportunity for women to see, appreciate, accept, and approve of themselves, and realise their power and ability to create (magic, life, relationships, art).

Whilst the subject matter has evoked reactions and conversations around culture, gender specific values, experiences and opinions, this is not intended to be political or gendered. More of a self appreciation and acknowledgement of the spiritual and creative power of the feminine essence and what it means to be a woman. Hence – “Femessence”

Acknowledging women’s sacred space and building a relationship with our bodies is a process which can bring you back into alignment and understanding. Simply, I believe we are created to create. By acknowledging our creative centres and power as females, this is a step towards creating the life we desire.

The artwork created is of real people; it’s the beauty of women represented through art. It was a co-creation and I thank and appreciate every one of the participants in this series; for their grace, beauty, vulnerability and bravery.

As an arts therapist it’s not about the end piece entirely, it’s about the process of making the art and the beauty of the journey behind the piece – from the photography, to the conversations, to the displaying of the final pieces and emotions that occur, and the gifts that are exchanged after the work is “complete”. It’s a forever evolving experience – the start of a new intersubjective relationship.

Thank you to all for joining the experience and being a part of the creative process.

The Why

It is safe for me to be seen.

Making art of your vulva may seem strange and intimate, however it can be immensely empowering to a lot of women. It provides a fun opportunity to address your body, accept it and learn that it is beautiful, normal, unique and to be celebrated.

Not many people understand what this work is for, but one thing is that it’s not just art. Did you know that a quarter of women have negative feelings towards their vulva? Or that 1 in 5 people aged 16-24 have considered cutting or bleaching their own vulva? Many women have never even looked at or seen their own vulva, or even another’s.

Unless you’re having sexual experiences with other women or work in the field, you’re probably not going to come into contact with anyone’s vulva but your own. Female rites of passage, menstruation and self pleasure is also framed with shame in many societies – so it’s not a surprise that there is a negative attitude towards any form of the female genitalia that doesn’t adhere to certain “standards” (whatever they are). Some women have said that they have also never even seen themselves, because it is not something they incidentally see every day (like a penis) unless they intentionally look at it; and then it is still through a mirror or photograph.

It takes work like this (of which there are many) and women to talk/look, to realise that vulvas come in infinite forms and they are all incredibly powerful, extraordinary and unique. Unfortunately the main source of sex-education for a lot of people is derived from pornography and not-updated medical text books, or feedback from sexual partners, which are not always accurate representations or reflections of the reality of the female anatomy – so what else are women comparing themselves to?

Your perception of yourself affects your experiences in life. Love yourself be confident with your looks, with your body, express your talents and allow yourself to be seen – authentically you. Clients have noticed an array of positive changes having committed to getting to know themselves deeper through this work.

Benefits Expressed and Reasons Why Women Get This Done:

  • Radical self acceptance, empowerment, and radiate confidence
  • Establish connection to body, increase bodily sensations and feelings
  • Love your moon/ bleed and regulate your cycle
  • Embrace feminine principles and essence, love being a woman
  • Be closer to the authentic you and deepen relationships
  • Further understanding of spiritual, emotional, physical experiences this creative centre holds; improve your health
  • Attract abundance and unlock creativity
  • Attract a partner
  • Do what the f**k you want

Improve your perception of yourself by deepening or even starting a relationship with your yoni/ vulva. Empower yourself and connect with your body, look at yourself in a mirror, look at other vulvas, discuss with other women, scroll through my Instagram, get your yoni drawn, take a cast of your own vulva or do nothing at all. Love your body a little bit more, because it deserves it.

A Woman’s story

“I hated my vulva. I didn’t even know what it looked like to hate in the first place. I found it ugly and taboo that I never looked at it and always disconnected from any relationship with that part of my body. This to me was normal behaviour.

Through this artistic process of actually looking at my vulva, and seeing it made into art, along with it being compared to others; I now understand that this is the creative and intuitive centre. A sacred place that I will be tapping into daily for guidance. A shame that my learnt cultural experience around bleeding and my womb and the way it looked was for a man’s pleasure and an “inconvenience” if it were not available or “right”. I was not taught as a young adult to listen to my body and honour my cycles.

This process has allowed me to move closer to deeper self acceptance. Looking at my vulva compared to others eliminated my own criticism about what it’s meant to look like. I realised I am as unique as everyone else, there is no “right” way to look or feel. Everyone is completely different and stunningly beautiful in their own right. Mesmerising.

It’s mine to use and be; I realise the power and magic that it holds. Women and men are created to create – and this space assists us to create what we truely desire. I see this and have experienced this now after an amazing unlocking and personal journey to now have a relationship with my body.

Thank you for embarking on this co-created journey to be seen and understood and aligned with what I want to create.”

How it started

My friend came to me saying that she wanted her vulva photographed so she could display it and slowly start a relationship with her body and vulva by looking at it every day. She said that she despised her vulva and wanted to love her body more.

Because it was lock down in Australia she could not get a photographer. I said to her that this work was something that I resonated with and that I could offer to draw her vulva for her and create it into an art piece.

She printed her art and hung it in her home to be adored every day, as beautiful art. She then later told me that a man came over and was not sure what was hanging on her wall. He asked her “What is that?” She replied proudly without shame, “that’s me!” He responded with an “oh yeah!” This was such a fun and liberating story that this inspired me to give this opportunity to other women, share the gift!

I was so mesmerised at her sacred space and vulnerability, that I knew this process was something that a lot of women would benefit from. And it turns out it has. Her bravery inspired me to embark on my own journey to deepen my relationship with my vulva, womb space and body and unlock my creativity further.

So this was a project born from and inspired by women. As an Arts Therapist, I now facilitate a course in unlocking your creativity. So please be in contact if you would like to join the group or explore your own creativity.

Read more about her experience HERE