Vulva Paintings and Drawings

Years ago, back around nineteen ninety-nine, I bought Eve Ensler’s book “ The Vagina Monologues “ and would read it and cry as I hoped as I had since a young age, to be in the right body for me along with my very own vulva. Then in a thousand and, one, my wish came through thanks to the love of my life, Dany. I was able to get the surgery and come into my true self finally. Soon after surgery, I began to draw and paint vulvas, I couldn’t get enough of them, of their beauty and wonderful differences. I was absolutely smitten with everything vulvic.

This brought me to reach out to other women, asking them if they would pose for me or send me images of the vulvas if that made them more comfortable, and many did as they thought it a wonderful thing to do. One young woman sent me a photo of her vulva as she sat on a table, legs spread and spreading the outer folds of her vulva with a knife and fork. I loved it and figured that giving it a title such as “ Food For Thought ” fit it well. Another posed for me while holding a tiara and wearing opera gloves, tat one is “ If My Vagina Got Dressed, She Would Wear … “.  I drew and I painted vulvas, some were simply about admiration and others pieces spoke to genital mutilation, menses and even sexual identities. I had no expectations of selling any of them, or of even getting to share them yet I was allowed to exhibit some of them in a variety of shows, from the Vagi-Art exhibit put together by students of Concordia University as well as in the context of McGill University event attached to their V-Day week.

I had other exhibits in which I displayed my vulva paintings where organizers, after seeing what I hung up, desperately tried to get me to remove them, this is when I realized that my art can disturb, that my art had the potential to create an emotional response in others, something deeper than the “ oh that’s cute “ comment often hear in art exhibits.

The vulva series is the starting point of my post-transition life as a queer paintress. What follows are some of my drawings and paintings of vulvas.

If My Vagina Got dressed, She Would wear …
@ Circé
oil on canvas / huile sur toile
16″ x 20″

In tribute to, and inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, this fun and playful piece show Circé’s true Queer femme identity showing through. Tiara and opera gloves.

En homage, et inspiré par ‘ Les Monologues du Vagin ‘ par Eve Ensler, cette pièce pleine d’humour et un peu espiègle, nous dévoile cette identité queer que Circé partage avec nous. Une tiare et des gants d’opéra!

Caress / Caresse
@ Circé
pastel on paper / pastel sur papier

Food For Thought / Matière à Réflexion

Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
20” x 30”

Also in the context of my queer feminism, I created Food for thought, a provocative piece that dares the viewer to look. This painting challenges our fears and taboos that abound in many societies regarding women and their bodies, it speaks to courage and openness, of saying that there is nothing dirty, evil or bad about a vagina, about labia’s and clitorises, that therein resides great power and beauty. The utensils are but tools to convey the notion of a passion for communication and dialogue about the lives of all women.

Dans le context féministe queer, je nous livre ‘ Matière à Réflexion ‘ qui a une double entente en Anglais mais qui ne se traduit pas comme désiré.Cette œuvre provocante met au défi le regard du spectateur. Elle met aussi au défi nos peurs et tabous qui sont si nombreux dans nos sociétés vis-à-vis des femmes et leurs corps. C’est une conversation sur le courage et sur l’ouverture, déclarant qu’il n’y a rien de sale, de diabolique ou de négatif à propos des vagins, des vulves, des clitoris … plutôt une extraordinaire source de puissance et de beauté. Les ustensiles ne sont que les éléments, la ligne conductrice qui nous amènent vers cet idéal pour une conversation et une passion autour de la vie des femmes. 

Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
16” x 20”

In many cultures, the menstrual cycle is considered dirty and taboo. I placed an image of a vulva, a beautiful hairy one at that with the hope of breaking down a bit of the barrier and opening up the conversation, acceptance and celebration of the very nature of the cycle.As a woman of transsexual origin, I have difficulty navigating such a topic, but still, I persist. Most women experience this in their lives, some don’t. As a rational thinking person, I don’t necessarily want to live the experience, much like most sisters probably wouldn’t want to if it were possible.This piece, along with other vulva paintings and drawings, was mainly inspired by Eve Ensler’s ‘ The Vagina Monologues ‘ in which I have participated on various levels. I was once awarded the mention of Vagina Warrior at McGill University’s V-Day event to my surprise.

Dans la plupart des cultures, le cycle menstruel est considéré sale et certainement tabou. J’ai mis en vue une belle vulve poilue, espérant que cette image aide à faire tomber cette barrière. Ouvrir la communication, l’acceptance et célébrer la nature même du cycle.En tant que femme d’origine transsexuelle, j’ éprouve une certaine difficulté à naviguer ces eaux, mais je persiste quand même. En majorité, les femmes en font l’expérience, mais pas toutes. Je suis plutôt rationnelle dans ma façon de penser et ne veux nécessairement  pas connaître cette expérience,  comme beaucoup de sœurs si c’étaient possible.Cette œuvre, comme toutes les autres de ma série sur les vulves, est principalement tirée de ‘ The Vagina Monologues ‘ de l’auteure Eve Ensler. J’ai participé en tant que conférencière et aussi sur scène, et même été nommée Guerrière du Vagin à l’Université McGill pour mon travail a ma grande surprise.

Petals / Pétales
Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
12” x 16”

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. / Inspiré d’après The Vagina Monologues de Eve Ensler.

Petals ll / Pétales ll
@Circé Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
24” x 36”

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. / Inspiré d’après The Vagina Monologues de Eve Ensler.

Excision / Excision
© Circé
Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
9” x 12”

This physically small painting refers to a huge and long-standing practice of FGM ( female genital mutilation ). The image of an excised vagina, the labia has been removed, is a horrifying and blatant image of the practice and its impact on women. In contrast to the journey towards coming into her own vagina, Circé sees this image as iconic in the war against women and the ownership and ultimate control over women’s bodies.

Ce petit tableau fait référence à la pratique barbare qu’est la mutilation génitale féminine. Cette image représente ce qui est connu comme étant une excision labiale. C’est une pratique traumatisante et révoltante qui a un impact horrible chez les jeunes filles et les femmes qui la subissent.  En contraste avec son cheminement personnel, Circé perçoit cette image comme un emblème iconique contre la guerre envers les femmes, leurs droits à l’autonomie et le contrôle exercé sur leurs corps.

Access Denied
Accès Interdit

 Pastel on watercolour paper / Pastel sur papier aquarelle
18” x 24”

The Unveil / Dévoilement
pastel on Canson paper /  pastel sur papier Canson 
12.5 “ x 17.5”

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.
Inspiré d’après The Vagina Monologues de Eve Ensler

Elegance / Élégance

Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
24” x 36”

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.
Inspiré d’après The Vagina Monologues de Eve Ensler.

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