Based on the passionate and enthusiastic recommendation of another blogger, I sneaked across a bit of darkest London today to see some art. If you want to read an informed and intelligent review of the art, read the recommendation.
I am going to try and articulate my own view of the main reason I went to see the exhibition: the Great Wall of Vagina. I was baffled as to how looking at hundreds of fanny lips could possibly be an emotional experience (of any other emotion than lust or something childish!)
But after talking to the incredibly helpful (and rather attractive!) lady who greeted me as I walked in, I could really understand how humbling it was. Hundreds of women had exposed their most private parts in a celebration of femininity. Aged from 18 to 76 and spanning transgenders in both directions, twins (apparently not identical in every respect!), a mother and daughter and some incredible piercings, there really was a wide range of cunt on display. Amazingly, however, they were all unique, all different and, due to the casting, impossible to identify as young or old.
The book accompanying the exhibition tells the story of the creation of the works - in itself an amazing story. There are also tales of many of the women - why they did it and how they discovered the project. The reasons ranged from the banal to the amazing, with courage and humour featuring strongly.
There is some other art there which is also amazing (the glass cast of the inside AND outside of a vagina left me boggling) and a video of the artist describing the project and some of the technical issues he faced.
I walked out of the gallery stunned and humbled, both by the bravery of the women who had exposed themselves to show the world that there is no such thing as a "normal" vagina and by the commitment of the artist.
There is a powerful tale in the Hay Hill Gallery and if you're in the area with 20 minutes or half an hour to spare before 2 June, you could really do worse than go and see it.
I hope you do.