101 Vagina made it into The Australian today, a glorious 19 whole words worth!
And I was interviewed by MX Brisbane, who will pass the story to Sydney and Melbourne MX also, for a possible article in the next few days. The woman I spoke to there said that MX have a bit more freedom to cover quirky stories than the main stream news papers, so it seems this is right up their ally :)
The Australian mention reads:
PRESS release heading of the day: “101 Vagina – Taboo smashing coffee table book – Seeking participants.” Don’t panic, It’s art.”
Here is a scan below, ignore the other articles.
Media release: More participants required for 101 Vagina – the taboo-smashing coffee-table book project
Media release: 1 May 2012
More participants required for
101 Vagina – the taboo smashing coffee table book project
“Dear Vagina, at first you were playful fun without me having any understanding of what you were. Then for quite a while you were mysterious and unknown, and I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t comfortable knowing you too well. Then we became friends and have been growing ever closer since. I’m glad that I know you.”
The 101 Vagina Project is creating a coffee table book of simple, beautiful black and white images of vaginas accompanied by a message from or about her vagina to the world.
The goal is to include 101 women, as the title suggests, and is currently sitting at 69, so we need 32 more!
So far everyone has been white and mainly 20-50. It would be great to include some black, brown and much older women.
Besides that, there is also the opportunity for women to share a vagina related experience on the blog section of the website.
At some point it may feel appropriate to open the blog up to men sharing vagina-related experiences and 101 Penis is on the cards.
People interested in participating can visit the website or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The creator, Philip Werner, is available for interviews in person or by phone.
- Take photographs of 101 vaginas using a 1960′s medium format Rolleiflex with black and white film. I love the process of using it and love the quality of film. Digital backup shots will also be taken.
- Collate and arrange photos and text into a coffee table style hard-cover book
- Publish the book via a publisher or by self-publishing and arrange a book launch and exhibition
- Break down guilt, shame, taboo or stigma surrounding vaginas
- Create an object of simple, aesthetic beauty in the form of a coffee table book
- Give participants a way to send a message to the world from or about their vaginas
- Show the variety and beauty of vaginas, in particular to women who tend to see fewer than men
- Be able to donate a bunch of cash to non-profit groups which support women in various ways
- Challenge the status quo.
I was first inspired by reading The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler while travelling in the USA in 2007. I continue to be inspired by it and the organisation Eve has created, V-day, to end violence against women, along with many other similar organisations.
The idea of doing a coffee table book arose after returning to Australia and I had started doing some nude photography.
Since starting the project I have come across other similar or related projects by other artists which continue to inspire this project. Above all I am inspired by vaginas and their owners!
Participation is anonymous.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Philip Werner was born in Germany in 1973 and migrated to Australia with his family at the age of 11. Germany has a proud history of nude bathing (FKK – Freie Koerper Kultur – Free Body Culture), saunas in Germany are almost all mixed and swim wear is not worn. Bravo, the most popular magazine for teenagers in Germany, has a two-page spread where readers, a girl and a boy, participate in a nude shoot and share their body-related experiences and attitudes ranging from puberty and menstruation, first sexual experiences, hangups and hobbies etc. So Germans grow up in a culture where the body is normal and accepted – much more so than in most Anglo-based cultures, like Australia, where there is still a lot of shame around the body, nudity and genitalia.
With this background Philip was always dismayed at the shame and guilt people carry about their bodies and nudity in particular, and was delighted when he discovered the movements that aim to turn these attitudes around and help people free themselves from the guilt and shame they feel.
Photographically, Philip has been around cameras all his life with both his parents being keen photographers. He launched his website in 2008 in order to share his passion, and has since turned the hobby into a part-time profession. His main interest is in portraiture, seeking always to capture people authentically.
Websites where his work is exhibited include:
There are two main ways that people can participate in this project, people can do either or both.
1. Vagina Photograph and Message for inclusion in the book.
Women can participate by having their vagina photographed and writing a message from or about their vagina to the world, to be included in the book.
2. Vagina Story for the blog
Women can also participate by sending in a vagina related story, poetry or art for inclusion in the blog section of the website.
Anyone interested in participating may email email@example.com
WHAT ABOUT 101 PENIS?
Yes, I have registered the domain and intend to take this on once 101 Vagina is more complete.
WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS
101 Vagina home page
101 Vagina blog
Please call or email to arrange and interview.
The 101 Vagina flier is here!
It has already courted controversy, being banned from distribution on car windscreens at the recent Renaissance festival in case children see the images! Which child is going to care about seeing a vagina? They only just came out of one! It is really only us adults, so far removed from our passage through it, who take offense, and therewith teach our children that they are taboo.
Feel free to print and distribute it. Or if you give me your address I’ll send some out to you :)
“My cunt does not want to wear diamonds. It is not a ripened peach. My cunt is not a metaphor. It is the part between my legs.
It is for bleeding, for breeding, for fucking. It gurgles wordlessly. It swells up, sucks up and spits out. I have no desire to gaze lovingly at its reflection. I don’t want to name it or talk to it. I am not going to glorify it any more than I would glorify a pinky finger, a forearm or a toenail. It’s as amazing and as mundane as every other part of my body. I’m not a prude. I love deeply and fuck deeply. But it is not my vagina that falls in love. It doesn’t house my femininity; it is not what makes me a woman. It is the part between my legs. It’s sensitive and skittish sometimes. At other times it wouldn’t flinch if you punched it. How much can you really talk about your cunt? It’s a part of my body that can bring me both pain and pleasure. My partner adores it. I trim its hair when it gets itchy. I keep it pretty clean. The end.”
“There is nothing in the universe more beautiful than my Yoni. My Yoni is the flower which contains within it the mystery of all existence.”
I echo the sacred formula internally, feeling fully present and full of Divine grace.
I am at a Tantra Shakti weekend for women, in the forest in the Swedish countryside. There are 20 of us here in the chalet, learning Tantric techniques and doing secret rituals to awaken the state of Shakti – the Divine Feminine, the primordial cosmic energy of creation, the creative potential of the Universe. The magical weekend is drawing to a close, the vibration is high, and there is an almost perceptible buzz permeating the room as we prepare for the final ritual – The Yoni Worshiping ritual…. Specific details of the ritual are secret, but essentially, after a series of powerful invocations of various sources and meditations to encourage the activation of the heart chakra and resonance with the Divine Feminine power of Shakti, each woman is invited to the front of the room. Here, she sits on a chair, naked, saying some mantras and a sacred formula internally. Then she spreads her legs wide open, exposing her Yoni to the other women, who sit in a semi circle facing the chair. The other women sit in meditation and honour her and her Yoni – seeing her as a perfect and unique manifestation of Shakti, and her Yoni as the infinite mystery of existence, as creation itself. For thousands of years, women in many cultures of the world have held similar rituals of Yoni worshiping.
We are all beautifully naked. I am struck by the overwhelming aesthetic beauty of the feminine form – such utter perfection. We are stripped bare, nowhere to hide, nothing to hide from.
Before my turn to go to the front comes I am already having quite an intense experience. I can feel energy moving through my body in slow, rhythmic, pulsating waves. It is as if I am in trance. I feel clear and light, and so present in the moment. Suddenly it is my turn, and I rise and walk slowly to the chair, sit down, and say the mantras internally. I spread my legs wide open, offering myself and my Yoni in full surrender. My eyes are closed as I perceive this energy flowing through my body, much more powerful now. I am shaking, pulsating, rocking back and forth, suddenly laughing, giggling, crying tears of joy, in spasms of ecstasy as the energy is explosively unleashed in my Muladhara chakra, sending strong vibrating tingles through my being. It is barreling up the full length of my spine with the delicate, refined subtlety of a freight train. The tingling feeling permeates my entire body, I cannot move. I am temporarily paralysed. All I can do is experience the Divine grace showering down upon me like a torrential flood, overwhelmed with gratitude and Love. I am one with the Universe, infinitely loved, infinitely safe, blissfully aware of the true nature of my being. Knowing, beyond any shadow of doubt. Beyond the mind. From the microcosm to the macrocosm – from my Yoni-verse to the Universe.
The intensity and nature of the sensations is somehow familiar to me…. I know this energy, it is unmistakable. It is the Kundalini energy. However, the circumstances last time I l felt this were much less harmonious. I was sitting in a café, with my two lovers at the time, when it happened. With the same intensity, the same involuntary shaking and screaming, laughing and crying. The same feeling of dissolving into the macrocosm, Infinite bliss. They had to carry me outside to the park, because I was causing such a commotion for the other diners, who were just trying to eat their lunch! So, this time I feel blessed to experience the Kundalini in such a sacred ritual, surrounded by my Shakti sisters, who are supporting me and sending me their limitless love the entire time.
My body is shaking with tremors and spasms for hours afterward. It takes some time to come back to ‘reality’, and when I do, it is different, again. A new world to explore with fresh eyes. Each time I feel I need to get to know the world again and get to know myself on a deeper level. People seem shinier than usual, colours are brighter. Things that seemed to matter an awful lot before are shown to be completely insignificant, not even worth mentioning, much less worrying about. I feel a state of expanded awareness, clarity, presence, deep calmness and inner peace. The synchronicities are ridiculously unbelievable. Life is a dream. The Kundalini energy continues to manifest in me sporadically. When I feel fully relaxed and open I can feel it there, buzzing through my being. When I receive a Yoni massage from a friend the G-spot orgasms hit me in waves, crashing over me over and over again, with such force that I am convulsing and screaming into a pillow. There are also some more challenging, less cosmic side effects. For days I feel floaty, spaced-out, forgetful, too receptive, super sensitive, fragile. I make the decision to integrate slowly, to go easy on myself, honour myself where I am now, and not to force anything.
When I first make love with my lover after this experience, it is as if we are truly meeting for the first time. I dive into the ocean of bliss inside his eyes, deep into the depths of his soul. As long as I have known him, he has always displayed a profound purity, a wide open heart and a penetrative awareness that is infinitely powerful, IF I can meet him in that place of awareness. This time I do. We are both crying tears of ecstacy. Finally, we are HERE and NOW, together!”
“The center of my being, is she…
My lovely lady bits have been quite the cause of some trouble and blessings…
She was my own personal play thing until the age of 16, when another form of play was found.
Girls, boys and toys each had their share, until her primal design was put to use, when, three times, my singularly unique vagina brought my children into the world.
Her narrow canal being stretched and pulled to unimaginable shapes and sizes, only to remarkably snap back to true form.
She has been the cause of envy, temptation and desire with many questing after her and the body to which she belongs. She has stretched her tendrils into my mind and whispered gently in my ear willing me to travel to faraway places in the quest of satisfaction.
Jealousy over the desire shown by others caused a breakdown in a long term relationship, but freedom was gained, and my oh my, did she drink from the overflowing cup of attention.
Through boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, a marriage and several swinging sessions, she has never let me down.
She has kept all my secrets. She has been my honest center of feeling. She never lies about whom I love or desire.
I am a Mother, a Lover and a Girlfriend. She will never leave me. She will always please me. We know each other so well.
She is beautiful, special and there will never be another like her.”
“sweetness and light, all my gushing hormotional rage torrents a thick anarchic mess and smoke of a billion scooters buzzing down the highways upon roads upon freeways upon carparks upon billboards and seemingly endless noise.
abrupt, immediate and helpful smiley nurses spread me out on a table. intense gazing genius and passionate eyes penetrating deep into my cunt, here I am once again, metal objects sliding in and out, nurses contorting my scarred sensitive glandular bits in an acrobatic performance like you couldnt imagine, cameras flashing from all angles, haphazardly plappin my clitoris in a funny way I laugh and smile and aaaaall my privacy feelings float out the window and the desensitized life sets back in.
here beautiful people of all sorts of body shapes and forms and beauty dance a dance politely as possible to avoid the masses of swollen flesh and severed nerve endings from erupting the mother load of pain they slowly and surely grow to love because, well, you gotta love your body, right?
vagina boy removed a bunch of over sensitive tissue between my vag and my urethra. i was awake the whole procedure… it was bizarre… a beautiful girl called jib who has massive calm in the stroke of your hand and glittery colourful eye colour poking through her mask stood close to me. she took care of my make cunt numb treatment earlier, she spread me out and slopped gunk in my slit and sealed me up with this liner type thingo. once i was in the operating theatre vagina boy did lots n lots of extra make cunt numb injections, and before I knew it, it was all business haha. i didn’t cry! yay. i didn’t cough. i lay there calm, focused completely on my heart beating and my lungs expanding as calmly to deflate to a relaxing calm zone of zen. i don’t know how long I was in there with my feet tied up high above my body, but it was hard to keep my extremities from going completely to sleep!
so. i survived.
time to chuck shitloads of antibiotics and various pills, visualise the magical process of healing cell by cell by cell. fuck i wish i could climb up on the roof and watch the big tropical storms splatter and flash lightening out on the ocean, all expanse and blowing humidity into my face n shit.
having a leaky eyes-drop-in-bowl fulls type moment… see, before i left australia i got blood and endocrine doctor boy to cut my guts and shove valerate pellets into my flesh, and turns out i agreed for him to use 200mg worth… Which is a considerable amount more than my hormonal receptors are accustomed to handle. So, I’ve been crying and crying my face has been leaking plaploads plappin plap, plonk!
by the time i was in my twenties self-guided, self-funded medical cost became a proud burden for me, seemingly unimaginable to friendly feminine souls but completely respected and understood somewhat. many years of hurt and confusion working long weeks in labour intensive jobs, my flesh and i endured, and we now live a fulfilled life, free, stimulating, ridiculous, celebrated, lumpy and scarred often appreciated.
a beautiful moment of clarity of thought and sweetness. sun up cunt. DAILY! yup. things are pretty freakin amazing.
one day at a time.”