Friday, 11 November 2011
Something a little bit different (2)
It's complete! I wasn't sure to start with whether I wanted to have the piece introduced in my last post on its own, esp. as the second piece proved rather more difficult, but now that it's found its form I see they are good together. (You can't quite discern from the photograph that there's no opening for a head to push through, that I've made little pockets where the armpits would be and that the straps have been crocheted as tubes.)
It's more clear to me now too how much this piece is about puberty, that time-span when our bodies seem to hurtle from one change to another and we can't quite keep up, when we are torn between wanting to throw ourselves into life and its contingencies and hiding in our bedrooms, between boldness and brassiness and excruciating embarrassment, between thinking we know it all and being utterly flummoxed by being in the world.
A friend of mine who popped in this week burst out laughing when she saw the piece. She remembered menstrual pads the size of aircraft runways and so do I (yes, we're of that age!), pads which weighed heavily in our pants and felt as inconspicuous as if a dayglow arrow was hovering in front of us and pointing at our shame. Yes, shame is the instrumental word. The only good thing was to be exempt from PE once per month and allowed to sit on a bench at the side instead of being bullied by the teacher. I'm sad for us in retrospect but also wonder how much things have changed. Smaller pads, tampons, yes, but menstruation still has to be invisible. And scentless. The funny thing is it's something I hadn't thought of at all when I made the piece: my starting point was a more general feeling of awkwardness - the strangeness of being embodied (at all times, but especially during puberty), but I'm delighted that M. was thrown into recall and took me along with her.
I also think there's more to be seen in the piece, but leave that up to you!
Dimensions: 25 cm x 50 cm and 24.5 cm x 44 cm
Materials: crocheted from a virgin wool/polyester mixture