For Jen Lewis, er time of the month is a time of great excitement. It’s a time in which her creative thinking and muse comes alive to create a new kind of photography that has been developing in the past several years. Her art comes from the decision to change from using traditiona pads and tampons to a menstual cup, a device that needs to be emptied regularly. source: Beauty in Blood
When she was emptying it one time, she saw the beauty of the blood threading its way through the water, so she started photographing it, and thus her beautiful photography business was born. For those who didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t realize that the bright varying hues of red on her pieces are blood, but it’s an interesting secret that creates disgust in some, and wonder in others.
In an article conducted by distractify, Lewis explained her inspiration a bit more to avid readers that wanted to understand more about what it was she was doing: “One day when I had some blood on my fingers after emptying my cup, I started to wonder about why society framed up menstruation as something disgusting. Blood, gore and gratuitous violence are everywhere in pop culture – news, sports, movies/TV, video games, music, etc. – but menstrual blood had been completely scrubbed from the visual landscape, save a few iconic and negative images such as the movie Carrie.”
She says that the process for creating this art has developed over time: “When we first started, all of the art was made in ‘real time’ – meaning while I was actively menstruating. Those evenings after work, I would remove my cup, leave the bathroom and Rob would set up the lights and camera. I would pour the blood into an empty toilet bowl to emphasize the abstract elements I saw at play: the color contrast of bright red against stark white porcelain, the organic way the blood moved in the water, how different the blood was from day-to-day. Every pour looked different.”
Now, this brilliant artist uses her work using a variety of different methods: pipette (awesome), turkey baster (terrible), chopsticks (excellent), travel shampoo bottle (also excellent). Lewis shares that her artwork gets a lot of interest and disgust, both of which she is aiming for.
She shares that it is her goal to get people to think that way about her art so that she can show them that it isn’t meant to be a taboo subject, or anything to run away from. She loves magnifying these images and showing people that blood can be beautiful and just as thought provoking as that which sits in a museum and is “oohed”and “awed” over everyday.
Over time, she hopes to bring her unique art to people around the world and break down those walls of disgust and social norms so that people are able to enjoy the art in the way that it is meant to be enjoyed. She wants people to see her pieces as deep and intense, so that nature can be enjoyed in every which way. You can see more about Beauty in Blood on the project’s website and Facebook page. There are even more menstrual artworks by dozens of artists being shared through an initiative known as Widening the Cycle. You can find more info about that HERE.