We Bleed: The Concept, Creation & Curation
Why do we need an exhibition about menstruation right now?
When you think of ‘Period Products’, artwork isn’t always the next word that comes to mind. So, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for you to ask why TABOO Period Products is hosting a public art exhibition. I’d love to take you through our thought process and reasoning behind what has become We Bleed - which will ideally end with you being completely convinced that you absolutely must attend the exhibition at some point over the weekend in late November!
TABOO’s mission is to eradicate period poverty and improve menstrual health and wellbeing around the world.
According to the recently published definition of menstrual health and wellbeing, there are many factors that contribute to a healthy, positive, dignified experience of menstruation – all of which rely upon menstruation being considered and understood seriously by our society.
Based on our experience and research in this space, we have identified 3 major factors that prevent this definition of menstrual health and wellbeing being experienced by individuals in our society.
- Lack of knowledge and community understanding around the many diverse experiences of menstruation
- Stigma and shame attached to the menstrual cycle
TABOO’s profit for purpose model allows us to primarily address issue number 1. Issues 2 and 3 can be addressed through our advocacy efforts, media content, and educational initiatives.
Earlier this year, we were in the TABOO office discussing how a lot of the content around menstruation takes a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We were aware and ashamed that even our TABOO content wasn’t always as inclusive as it could have been.
Considering all this, we asked ourselves: what would be the most effective way to communicate how personal the experience of menstruation is, and how would we share these experiences alongside each other in a way that illustrates just how diverse these experiences are?
The power of artistic creativity as a tool to fill this gap was suggested by Eloise, TABOO's co-founder, and it wasn’t long before we could envision a beautiful gallery set up, accommodating these powerful and unique stories alongside each other.
To turn this concept into a reality, our first step was to reach out to artists and gauge whether this would be a realistic, well received, and viable project. Thankfully, Adelaide Central School of Art was very willing to guide us through this unfamiliar territory.
The task posed to the artists was to visually interpret the many different factors that influence their relationship with menstruation. These factors could be physical, psychological, cultural, religious, economical or social.
After numerous ideas, contracts, and conversations were had, we landed on an incredible mix of 17 artists from around Australia who were excited to contribute their amazing skill towards our We Bleed exhibition.
We want this exhibition to act as a platform for the creative expression of the relationship individuals have with their menstrual cycle, in a way that is tangible and accessible to everyone in our community. We Bleed is inspired by the diversity of our TABOO community, but it is not designed just for these people. It is designed for the wider public; for people who may not have considered the role that menstruation plays in our lives, and for those who may not know how unique and significant this biological process is.
Our artists are exploring themes of growing up, pain, endurance, the natural wonder of our bodies, chronic disease, hormones, disability, fertility, the human life cycle, pregnancy loss, reproduction, unpaid work, sex and menopause.
These are all topics that come to the artists’ minds every month when they see that first drop of blood. Periods can be a constant and frequent symbol of parts of our lives that are both wonderful and painful – a humbling reminder that we are all human, trying to make sense of the world from the body and environment that we were born into.
So on that bright note, it’s the perfect time to jump onto Eventbrite and book your ticket to an event that will open your mind to different experiences, expose you to skilful artwork and provide you with raw recounts of the world we live in - through the lens of a period.
And if my attempt at convincing you from an emotional and existential perspective didn’t quite cut it, there will also be live DJs, good food and good wine.
Buy your tickets here.