Women draped in haute couture and posed in aristocratic settings were the face of a successful ad campaign that peaked in 1950s magazines. The product was Modess sanitary napkins, and the popular slogan was “Modess…because.”
These images of women were as far away from the body and bleeding as possible — in a word, they were “sanitized.”
My series of collages intends to reclaim women’s bodies, especially in our politically charged times when women’s rights are challenged and ownership of one’s body is up for “grabs.”
My first impulse was to take the Modess women into the woods. I placed them on the earth and in caves, incorporating symbols long associated with the feminine — the egg, moon, shell. The art-making was a ritual to release shame in the body and bow to the power of the female body as transformer.
My studies with indigenous, earth-based cultures, and my long-time research on the iconography of the feminine, informs much of my work. I watch the new marketing of feminine products and portrayal of women in advertising with interest. Now, millennials employ the archetype of the female warrior, calling upon strength, fight, blood. The pendulum swings.