Blood Sweat and Tears, The Menopause Quilt. 2020 205cm x 230cm
Having in one household a peri-menopausal women and two hormonal teenagers at times feels like a recipe for disaster. One of the lifesaving activities for me has been creating art, it’s a way of working through problems and concerns, a distraction and a challenge. The making of Blood Sweat and Tears has also acted as a stimulus for learning and understanding about the menopause, both for me as the maker and its audience.
The fabric is silk- soft, silky, luxurious. It invites you to wrap yourself up in it, to take comfort. Painted and stitched onto the blood red quilt are objects you would not normally see on an artwork, but objects familiar to many middle aged women: a box of suppositories, panty-liners, hand cream, KY Jelly, hot water bottles and so on. Written onto the objects are quotes from menopausal women, advise garnered from the internet, common and less common symptoms. It’s a work rich in surprise, you think you see one thing, go a bit closer and see another thing.
Blood Sweat and Tears was exhibited as part of INSIGHTS in 2021 at The Festival of Quilts, Birmingham NEC. With an audience of around 26,000 people.