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Menstruation 1

Catherine Elwes


Menstruation 1

Exploring the isolation of menstruation was the aim of my work in 1979. The ''menstruation huts'' of early societies were established by women to protect them during menstruation and childbirth.

As patriarchal religions gradually reversed matriachal values, menstrual isolation became enforced and women were excluded from religious work and other forms of public life. By enclosing myself in a glass-fronted compartment in the corner of a Slade studio and visibly bleeding for several days, I confronted the forcible eradication of women's biology from culture. I used menstrual isolation in its original function, concentrating on physical and psychological changes as a source of knowledge and creative energy. Cate Elwes in Menstruation and Motherhood, Unravelling Biological Binds.

Performed White Room, Slade School of Art

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