A lot of my artwork stems from personal experiences and preferences. Sometimes something occurs in my life and I find a way to transform it into art. This is exactly what prompted the creation of this quilled female reproductive tract.
It was around this time that I began experiencing peri-menopause and let’s just say it was kind of ruling my existence. I won’t go into the gory details, but not only was I having extreme symptoms, I was going through hell hormonally (and subsequently… emotionally!). Women got the short end of the stick when it came to a lot of bodily issues and I kind of resent this fact of biology.
This anatomical model, albeit very artistically done, is representative of me in a way. The single egg (pearl) inside the right ovary was my way of depicting my waning fertility. The chaotic muscle tissue of the uterus depicted my view of my own uterus with fibroids and polyps.
Instead of making this model accurate, I tried making it whimsical. The pinks represent femininity. I used handmade papers to line the backdrop of the uterus. I even created a cervical canal.
I donated this piece to my gynecologist – Dr. Rebecca Streeter. It’s on display in one of her exam rooms at Midcoast Hospital. (Though last time I was there I noticed the frame was broken!)
I used a lot of varied techniques for this piece. Crimping and loose coils and tight coils made up the “cells” of the uterus. The most unique technique was the one I used for the fallopian tubes. It’s hard to explain it, but they were made by wrapping quilling paper around a pen barrel at a 45-degree angle then wrapping a second layer at 45-degree angle to the barrel, but pointing in the other direction. Maybe some day I will create a tutorial for this. I learned the technique from a woman from Australia and have long since lost her instructions. They exist only in my memory at this point!
If you are interested in commissioning your own anatomical model, please Contact me.