The Great Wall of Vagina exhibition can now be seen at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium in Hoxton, London, until 2nd May. The sculpture, which was created by socio-political artist Jamie McCartney, will be on show to mark its fifth anniversary. It measures 26 feet long and it consists of plaster casts of vaginas taken from 400 different women volunteers.
This sculpture has been credited with changing the lives of women the world over, with its depiction of so many different shapes and sizes of genitalia. With the relentless societal pressure on women to look and to be a certain way which, allegedly influenced by the pornography industry, has even reached their vaginas, many women are so anxious about how they look that they resort to surgery to ‘correct’ what isn’t wrong. The concept behind The Great Wall of Vagina is: ‘Once you’ve seen what 400 other women’s genitals look like, in all their rich variety of shapes and sizes, you will know you are completely normal. Knowledge is power. Freedom from genital anxiety is the goal’.
Jamie McCartney explained: “I didn’t want to be part of a society that encourages women to cut off parts of their bodies that are supposed to give them pleasure and I found myself in a unique position to do something about it. It’s high time we, as a society, grew up around these issues and I think art has a major role to play.”
In addition to being 26 feet long, the complete Great Wall of Vagina weighs over a quarter of a tonne so is not suitable for exhibiting in a shop environment. Not only that but it is not for sale to the public. Jamie will only sell it to a public institution that is committed to keeping it on permanent public display and the undisclosed price tag is rumoured to be in excess of £1m.
The exhibition at Sh! will feature many artworks by Jamie from The Great Wall of Vagina body of work, but on a smaller scale and at prices affordable to the public ranging from a few pounds to few thousand pounds. These include life-size photographs of each panel, signed and numbered by the artist, and limited edition miniature copies of the original vagina panels.
Posters and merchandising featuring the Great Wall of Vagina and Jamie’s Breast Cancer Awareness artworks, will also be on sale including: do-it-yourself vagina casting kits; The Great Wall of Vagina book (featuring the accounts of 100 of the women who participated as well as all 400 casts photographed life size); Great Wall of Vagina mugs, posters, postcards and iPhone covers; colouring books of vaginas and cocks; and breast and bra posters to raise awareness about breast cancers.
The exhibition runs until 2nd May at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium, 57 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB. Contact the store on 020 7613 5458 for more information.