Curated by ellen.gif and Andriana Carney
SARAH WOODWARD (UK/AUS)
Cycle (2017), Crocheted bed sheets, moon cups
Cycle is an installation made with used white bed sheets, crocheted into abstract forms and adorned with mooncups. Old and worn sheets used to be torn and made into pads as menstrual protection. Now latex menstrual cups are the new reusable form of sanitary products.
Recycling instead of throwing away is nothing new, if anything disposable products have only come about in the late twentieth century. The calm white makes it a contemplative piece, which also evokes ideas of purity and virginity, contrasted on closer inspection by the tones of grey in the worn sheets. This is a subversive method of discussing menstruation, a subject that gets closed down because it is seen as disgusting.
There has always been a problem with menstrual bleeding, yet it is a vital part of human biology. The structures suggest different types of menstrual cycles, regular and irregular, heavy or light. When people are stopped from discussing intimate issues, like menstruation, and reproduction, it can cause serious health conditions to go unattended. This work engages the viewer in a conversation that they should have but would not choose to.
Sarah Woodward lives and works in Sydney and is currently undertaking an Honours degree at Sydney College of the Arts. She works across artistic disciplines to research identity and how it is affected by gender. She has created a very personal body of work, including painting, film, installation and photography. Woodward’s work comes from her private, intimate, autobiographical experiences, but can be seen to reflect on society as whole. She seeks to question and engage in a conversation about the place of women in a post-industrial world.