Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

The Tampon Gun: An interview with anti-violence artist-activist Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch

November 9th, 2015 by Jen Lewis

Stop the Flow of Violence. Period. by Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch


When guerrilla art meets activism, monumental action can occur. Here Menstrual Designer Jen Lewis interviews fellow artist Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch about the activist vision behind Bloch’s engaging banner Stop the Flow of Violence. PERIOD. Read on to find out more about this nationwide anti-violence campaign, including how you can play an integral role in supporting the artist’s vision.

Q1. Jen Lewis
Why did you originally create Feminine Protection? What is your vision for the piece now?

A1. Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch
I originally created this piece as a funny play on the phrase “Feminine Protection.” I didn’t realize at the time I was touching on much deeper issues. After creating my gun, I noticed people were more upset that it was made out of tampon applicators than they were that it is was a semi-automatic weapon. I was intrigued and shocked that the taboo of natural menstrual blood is more upsetting to people than the blood caused by gun violence. As a result, I have become much more aware of both the politics of gun control/violence and the social taboos surrounding menstruation. I hope that my art piece simply provokes further thought and discussion about socially acceptable images and topics.

Q2. JL
What is your social/political goal for the piece? What community action do you want to spark?

My goal is that my art piece becomes the face of an anti-violence campaign. I hope people in cities across the U.S. will display my banner, Stop the Flow of Violence. PERIOD, in public places with the hopes that it will inspire the public to engage in conversations. The N.R.A. has Charlton Heston, the Anti-Gun movement needs an image as well! I hope that when people see an AK-47 made out of tampon applicators they will discuss violence in society, gun violence and violence against women. In addition, I hope the discussion expands to incorporate socially acceptable images of blood (why is gun violence okay but menstruation taboo?).

Q3. JL
What kind of community partners are you looking for to display the banner? Do you have any lined up? If so, who?

I would be thrilled if feminists and activists on college campuses displayed my banner. I would love to see it prominently displayed in public parks, across from government institutions, and immediately following a terrible mass shootings in the city/college an event has occurred. I would love to see my banner in every major city in the U.S. but especially in Texas. If I had the funds, I would purchase a billboard in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas as a start. I would like to participate in the “open carry” protest that will be happening at the University of Texas Austin.

I put out a call on Facebook asking for volunteers to hang my art. I currently have one person in Minneapolis, Minnesota who has offered to hang it across from the State House in St. Paul, Minnesota. I am looking for more people to join in this guerrilla art show.

Q4. JL
Where is your ideal location for the banner to be hung?

A4. IGBIt is weather proof so any prominent outdoor location would work.  It could also be used in parades, hung from buildings or displayed in public spaces. I am open to the ideas of people volunteering to display this banner.

Q5. JL
Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am hoping people will document the public’s responses to my banner. I have created a website: and a Facebook page for my art, IGBStudio, where I hope people will post photos, video and comments by the public. Once I have a group of people signed up to display my banner, I will turn my attention to making my website more interactive. I will admit social media is not my forte so I am also looking for partners interested in Tweeting under my hashtag #feminineprotection. In the meantime, please ‘like’ my art page: IGBStudio.

Find Ingrid and her art online at:

Jen Lewis is the Menstrual Designer and Conceptual Artist behind Beauty in Blood and curator of Widening the Cycle.

From Innovation to Policy, Menstruation is Red Hot in Kenya

October 29th, 2015 by Editor

Guest Post by Danielle Keiser, WASH United

*WASH_logo_glowWASH United, initiator of Menstrual Hygiene Day, has been working closely with the Kenyan government and local NGOs to establish a national policy around Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

Today we sat down with the team at WASH United Africa in Nairobi, Kenya–Beverly Mademba, WASH in Schools Programs Manager, Alfred Muli, Program & Research Associate, and Winnie Nyabenge, Program Associate–who have been coordinating the national effort, to learn about how policy change in the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) sector can be achieved. Here’s what they told us.

It seems like menstruation is a really hot issue in Kenya right now. Why do you suppose the issue is now gaining more attention than ever before? 

Yes, you’re right! Menstruation is actually red hot in Kenya for a number of reasons.

First, the interest and demand for the issue is enormous! With more and more data finally surfacing detailing the wide-ranging negative impacts of poor MHM, many people are responding with interventions and solutions in Kenya–and beyond. At the beginning, the majority of the NGOs working in MHM came from the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. Now, people and organizations interested in advancing education, health, human rights, child protection and other sectors are getting involved. Even private social businesses want to help tackle the issue by bringing innovative MHM products to the market! It’s actually quite noticeable just how much MHM has grown in the last years, both in terms of work and media attention on the issue. Instead of just WASH, MHM is now being tackled from many different perspectives by many different organisations.

Secondly, the increased campaigning and advocacy surrounding Menstrual Hygiene Day has really had a huge impact on drawing attention to the issue. Two contributing factors include the fact that we at WASH United are the initiators and drivers of Menstrual Hygiene Day and have our African office (and our great team!) in Kenya.

Lastly and most importantly, the Kenyan Ministry of Health has taken an impressive leadership role in driving the issue and has done an excellent job of coordinating stakeholders, particularly in the WASH sector.

Hope Alive Girls Empowerment Project, Kenya

Hope Alive Girls Empowerment Project, Kenya

What are the key priorities of the proposed MHM policy in Kenya (education, product access, environmental issues, health, etc.?) and how will the policy be implemented? 

Seeing as how MHM is an issue that cuts across different sectors, it is absolutely vital that the concerns of all the key stakeholders are considered. This means not only ensuring adequate sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and the affordability and accessibility of menstrual materials, but also providing education, information and addressing cultural barriers to improving MHM, such as myths and taboos. It also means taking into account the importance of behavior change around hygiene and disposal. The obvious target for the MHM policy are schools, but we are also trying to push the policy agenda to institutions (i.e., prisons, hospitals, etc.) as well to help ensure that it benefits as many women and girls in Kenya as possible.

Therefore the key priorities of the MHM policy are as follows:

  1. Defining safety and quality standards for reusable products
  2. Provision for management of MHM waste
  3. Defining minimum standards for MHM programming (for both infrastructure and behavior change interventions)
  4. Ensuring relevant reproductive health education
  5. Mainstreaming MHM into monitoring and evaluation
  6. Engaging the corporate sector to address the safety of their menstrual hygiene products; encouraging them to market their products responsibly and with “period positivity”

After the policy is finalized on a national level, the critical part is the contextualizing and institutionalizing of the policy in the 47 counties within Kenya to ensure real impact on the ground. This means conducting in-depth situational analyses to truly understand the specific issues in each county, as well addressing the needs and capacity requirements of the local governments.

How have you built relationships with others to advance the initiative? Who have been the most valuable partners? 

We’ve built relationships in two ways: 1.) Through national thematic technical working groups (TWGs), such as the hygiene promotion TWG, the school WASH TWG and the policy and research TWG just to name a few. 2).  Menstrual Hygiene Day has allowed us to collaborate with new partners both inside and outside the WASH sector giving us the opportunity to form strong coalitions that continue to garner media attention and influence local and national governments.

Besides this, we’ve been in constant dialogue with interest groups including academia, manufacturers, corporate entities and relevant government agencies.

All partners are equally valuable, representing their different interests. Key players at least working on the policy have been WASH United, Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO), WASH Alliance Kenya (WAK), PATH, UNICEF, Transformation Textiles, ZANA Africa, I-CARE, Saidia Dada and networks such as KEWASNET. However, we must really commend the Ministry of Health for the amazing work they have done in coordinating us all.

If menstrual education is a component, what are the barriers to establishing a nation-wide educational initiative of this sort? Have there been any particular surprises or unanticipated blocks?

Great question. Currently the curriculum teaches about anatomy and the biological processes that occur during puberty. It does not, however, dive into hygienic management of the period, sanitary disposal of used products, and the facts vs. myths that surround menstruation.

Period Politics – Call or Write to Your Member of Congress!

October 15th, 2015 by David Linton

Though getting anything through Congress these days is a daunting task, there is a piece of legislation that is of special interest to anyone concerned about women’s health.  It’s a bill called The Robin Danielson Feminine Hygiene Product Safety Act (H.R. 1708),and it directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine through research whether feminine hygiene products that contain dioxin, synthetic fibers, and other chemical additives like chlorine, colorants and fragrances, pose health risks. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is the author of the bill which now has an additional six co-sponsors in Congress.

Unlike other political issues that involve women’s reproductive rights such as contraception or access to abortion, this initiative is relatively free of controversial elements (aside from the fact that it does require governmental regulation and testing, a factor that some extreme “anti-government” politicians oppose regardless of the value or intention).  And the fact that the bill does not address the contentious issues might make it appealing to elected officials seeking to counter the impression that they are generally “anti-women” when it comes to making policy.  In other words (though this might not be the best way to phrase it when writing to them), this is a chance for elected representatives to do something good for the vagina.

In addition to advocating for the legislative action, Maloney and her co-sponsors have taken the initiative of writing directly to Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the agency to take the lead on the recommended research.

The press release from Congresswoman Maloney’s office spells out the details of the issue, the letter to the NIH, and  the names of its co-sponsors.  Readers who live in the districts of these individuals are encouraged to thank them for their support.  Others are urged to contact representatives in their home districts asking them to become co-sponsors and to vote in favor of it in committee and when (or if) it comes to the floor for a vote.

Here’s how to find the contact information for all member of the US Congress by zip code, probably the easiest way to find out who they are and the configuration of their districts:

It is noteworthy that the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) is identified as a supporter of the effort along with the Annie Appleseed Project, Liberty Feminine Care, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, NaturallySavvy, Red Web Foundation, and Women’s Voices for the Earth.  Readers are invited to share this post with others and to get additional organizations involved in the effort.  

David Linton is an Emeritus Professor at Marymount Manhattan College. He is also Editor of the SMCR Newsletter and a member of the re: Cycling editorial board. His research focus is on media representations of the menstrual cycle as well as how women and men relate to one another around the presence of menstruation.

Weekend Links at re:Cycling – Menstrual Activism & the Arts

October 10th, 2015 by Jen Lewis

When it comes to modern political and social activism, one of the most powerful tools one can use to make a statement and shift public perception is art. Whether it’s film, fine art or the written word, art has the ability to challenge society’s deepest assumptions by sparking new ideas, catalyzing critical thinking, and inspiring individuals to take steps in new directions that facilitate social change. This weekend we look at menstrual activism in the arts with some old favorites and some new projects.


“My purpose in producing and exhibiting these works was to confront the taboo associated with menstruation, demystify this natural function of the female body, and promote thought-provoking discussion among women & men, artists & non-artists alike.”

– Jennifer Weigel, Widening the Cycle participating artist


  • SMCR’s own Widening the Cycle explored the power of fine art this past June with an international art exhibit during its annual conference. More than 30 artists displayed artwork addressing the menstrual cycle, menstrual stigma and the larger role reproductive justice plays in our world.
    • Watch artists Diana Álvarez, Gabriella Boros, Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch, Lucy Madeline and Kyle discuss menstrual activism in their art practices – ranging from personal empowerment to mental health and menstruation. (45-minute video)
    • Browse through the exhibit and event photo album. (It’s a downloadable pdf.)
    • Check out the enduring materials from the show which include an exhibit catalogue (a wonderful addition to any fine art or women studies library collection) and a comprehensive website housing all the submitted artworks and artist statements.


  • Social news and entertainment website Buzzfeed documented four women’s first time using a menstrual cup and, well, you just have to watch this one for yourself. It’s short and humorous but also surprisingly informative for the cup-curious and newbies alike. (5 minute video)


  • Earlier this year, University of Waterloo student and poet Rupi Kaur set the social media world on fire when she posted a photograph of a woman sleeping, menstruating and leaking all while fully clothed. The horror! After having her photo removed twice from Instagram, this is what Kaur had to say:

“thank you Instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted my photo twice stating that it goes against community guidelines. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you.”


  • “We spend on average 6-8 years of our lives bleeding – why is one of the world’s most common occurrences also one of its biggest taboos?” MA Candidate (Radio Production and Management, Sunderland University) Bridget Hamilton explores this in a three-part radio documentary series for the community media sector based around menstruation called Seeing Red. In this ground breaking documentary, she researches the origins of menstrual stigma and asks what is being done to challenge it.
    •  Episode 1: Moon Landing explores the history of our menstrual stigma, and the feeling of a first period
    •  Episode 2: Toil and Trouble explores the medical, social and financial challenges many face when they menstruate
    •  Episode 3: Making Waves explores the slow, but sure, movement towards ‘period positivity’


  • What do you do with 90 used menstrual rags that are hanging around the house? If you’re Chilean artist Carina Úbeda, you make an incredible embroidery installation. That’s right, this is a 3D menstrual art experience you walk around and interact with spatially. Of the installation, one visitor told the Daily Mail, “Male blood is celebrated for being brave while ours is a shame. This won’t change until we release our body as the first stage of political struggle.”


  • ICYMI – Laura Wooley from the great queer website Autostraddle is writing a year-long series about menstruation and she is seeking input. Thanks for the hot tip, Liz!


  • And who could forget the vaginal knitting performance by Melbourne craftivist and Craft Cartel member Casey Jenkins? “Casting Off My Womb” is quite possibly my favorite piece of menstrual performance art. It nods to feminist art pioneers Carolee Schneemann and Judy Chicago while being incendiary in a whole new way due to the long reach of social media.

“I have created a performance piece that I believe is beautiful and valid and I know that this belief can withstand all the negativity in the world.” – Jenkins


  • And now for something completely different, but definitely trending online this week: Loon Cup. Love it or hate it, this “smart cup” has even more people talking about alternative menstruation and that’s a menstrual activism win.


Jen Lewis is the Menstrual Designer and Conceptual Artist behind Beauty in Blood. Her work “The Writing Is on the Wall” is featured above; photography Rob Lewis.

Our Bodies Our Blood – Group Art Show – Halifax, NS

September 8th, 2015 by Jen Lewis


Our Bodies Our Blood

Now through September 30

Plan B Gallery

2180 Gottingen Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia

For more information about events visit


As we saw with Widening the Cycle at #SMCR2015, art has the ability to play a powerful role in social activism, especially with regards to menstruation. Earlier this month a group art show opened in Halifax, Nova Scotia dedicated to exploring the complex role menstruation plays in our lives. The Our Bodies Our Blood exhibit will be on display all month long and is accompanied by weekly artist talks, menstruation-related lectures (i.e. FAM, sustainable products, etc.) and  the “Blood Fund,” a fundraiser seeking to help low income/financially unstable menstruators secure the products they need. In addition to visual art, Our Bodies Our Blood has a community blog component encouraging people to share their first period stories.

About the show:

The purpose of this project is to create a safe space to share our experiences with menstruation through art and conversation. By creating a space to share and learn, we start to create community. We hope to spread awareness about the environmental, social and political relevance of menstruation, and how it is something we need to start talking about.

This project was inspired by multiple discussions with menstruating folks who felt that it is important to know your body and to take charge of your menstrual health. It all started when I (Alanah Correia) tagged along with a friend to a fertility awareness workshop. She was very interested in the topic, and as for me, I didn’t know what I was getting into! What I took away most from it was how important it is to have safe spaces to talk about, and learn about menstruation.

Continued at


Flibanserin is NOT “female Viagra” and here’s why

July 30th, 2015 by Laura Wershler

If you’ve been hearing about the “female Viagra” drug Flibanserin in the media over the past couple of months and wonder what it’s all about, Dr. Aaron Carroll at Healthcare Triage sets the record straight and tells you everything you need to know about Flibanserin in this seven-minute video.

To quote Dr. Carroll, “The two drugs aren’t even close to the same thing.” He asks the media and others to stop calling Flibanserin the “female Viagra.” He says, “It makes pharmacology nerds very, very unhappy when you do that.”


For one, Viagra is taken on an as needed basis and does not work if the man is not already sexually aroused. Flibanserin is intended for daily use by premenopausal women and affects the brain, supposedly, to increase feelings of sexual desire. Side effects include, says Dr Carroll, “marked sedation, somnolence and fatigue,” and are made worse in those who consume alcohol.

The video provides need-to-know information because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is leaning towards approving Flibanserin this summer. Though twice rejected by the FDA, an aggressive public relations campaign spearheaded by drug owner Sprout Pharmaceuticals has resulted in a recommendation to the FDA to approve the drug with risk management options. A letter to the FDA signed by Leonore Tiefer, PhD, of the New View Campaign and over 100 other concerned health experts, sex researchers and clinicians urging them to reject approval of flibanserin explains the many problems with the drug. Here’s what the letter says about Flibanserin and alcohol:

We will leave the topic of flibanserin’s safety to others, except for mentioning the truly absurd situation of approving a daily drug to boost the sex lives of women in their 30s and 40s that must not be taken with alcohol. As sexologists we can say with confidence that this advice is both preposterous and doomed.

The New View Campaign also wrote a song advocating that women and the FDA Throw That Pink Pill Away:














The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research added its voice to those opposing FDA approval of Flibanserin by passing the following resolution in June at its 2015 Biennial conference in Boston, MA:

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research regrets the recommendation by the Bone, Reproductive, and Urologic Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee on June 4, 2015 that Flibanserin be approved with risk management options. The discussion after the vote was recorded made it clear that even those in favor had serious reservations about the efficacy and safety of the drug. We believe that women want safe and effective options, not unsafe and ineffective medications. Therefore, we urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to override the Advisory Committees’ decision and reject this drug.

NOTE: This post was updated on July 30, 2015 at 12:55 p.m. EST with the addition of the song.

Menstrual Prose Poem from #SMCR2015: “My feet flow through each cycle.”

July 20th, 2015 by Laura Wershler

On June 6th, 2015, at the 21st Biennial Conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research at the Centre for Women’s Health and Human Rights in Boston, conference participants celebrated with an Open Mic evening of Menstrual Poetry to close out #SMCR2015. This is the last in a series of posts at re:Cycling that aims to give a broader audience to some of the poetry performed that evening.


Flow – by Rosie Sheb’a

Sustainable Cycles cyclists Rachel, Olive and Rosie in Atlanta, Georgia, en route to the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research conference held in Boston, June 4-6, 2015.

Flow. My feet flow through each cycle. Every revolution takes me further into the cycle. Life cycle. Bicycle. Upcycle. Recycle.

My small wheels move along the road, a mirror to the larger wheel of which I am a tiny, insignificant, and yet pivotal part. My essence is essential to the whole. The microcosm of my womb reflects the entire universe!

I look at my legs powering my bicycle across state after state. I watch as I bleed and listen to my body as my ovulation is reflected by the road. My menstrual cycle is a perfect replica of the seasons, of the stages from egg to caterpillar, to pupa, to butterfly. The Earth rotates around the sun, just as my pedals rotate around my crank shaft, and foot by foot, mile by mile, I move forward. We move forward. Propelled by our destiny as cyclists. Life Cyclists.

We cycle, and millennia of oppression melts away. We are part of something immense. Individually, we are just a tiny cog in the giant clock of evolution, but together, we can say menstruation. Period. I bleed. You bleed. We were, are and will be bleeders. Without our blood, life as we know it would not be. Cycling, together, we conquer fear. We surmount shame.

Sustainable cycles? It’s a pun about bikes and periods, but it’s so much more than that. Our message is clear. Love your cycle. Love the cycle. Take care of yourself, and you take care of the planet. Learn about your body, and you will be empowered.

I watch a teenage girl ride her bike through the streets of Philadelphia. Will she have knowledge of her cycle?

I see an old woman on a park bench in New Orleans. Who is learning her life lessons?

A middle aged dame in Texas tells me she doesn’t like “that word” and I wonder. Does her daughter know her – Period?

A transgender man tells of his forgotten tablets and using soft leaves to soak up his accidental summer-camp flow.

So many perspectives from so many places and we’ve only just scratched the surface. So many lessons to learn from our neighbours. Collectively, we have a purpose.

Learn to love. Love to grow as our cycle continues. I watch a playground of children. What world can we envision for them?

A world where we know our bodies? Where we can be ourselves without fear?

A world void of hatred?

Who knows. I am but a tiny wheel on the cycle of life.

Yet one small action can trigger a revolution.

One cycle. One. Cycle. We are in it.

Where do you want to go?

Rosie Sheba is the owner/director of Sustainable Menstruation Australia and rode from Austin to Boston with Sustainable Cycles to present at #SMCR2015. She has a background in evolutionary biology and ecology. Rosie sees positive relationships and experiences of the menstrual cycle as the keystone for the evolutionary survival and success of humanity.

A doc about birth control, #LiveTweetYourPeriod, and other 4th of July weekend links

July 4th, 2015 by Laura Wershler
  • It’s old news that men find women’s faces more attractive when they are fertile, but the facial cues to explain this have eluded researchers. A new study from the University of Cambridge, as reported in the Science Daily, shows that women’s face skin gets redder at the point of peak fertility. However, as this change in face redness is too subtle for the human eye to detect, skin colouration has been ruled out as the reason for this “attractiveness effect.” Dr. Hannah Rowland, who co-led the study, said, “Women don’t advertise ovulation, but they do seem to leak information about it, as studies have shown they are seen as more attractive by men when ovulating.” The mystery continues.

When Elynn Walter walks into a room of officials from global health organizations and governments, this is how she likes to get their attention:

“I’ll say, ‘OK, everyone stand up and yell the word blood!’ or say, ‘Half of the people in the world have their period!’ ”

It’s her way of getting people talking about a topic that a lot of people, well, aren’t comfortable talking about: menstrual hygiene.

Ms. July – Menstruation Pin-Up

July 1st, 2015 by Jen Lewis

Guest Post by Jen Lewis

Beauty in Blood Presents
Ms. July: Truth & Perception
Year: 2015
Menstrual Designer: Jen Lewis
Photographer: Rob Lewis

“Widening the Cycle” Featured Artists & Panel Speakers: Alvarez, Boros, Goldbloom Bloch, Kyle & Madeline

June 3rd, 2015 by Jen Lewis

“Cup of Flow 2” by Diana Alvarez

Diana Alvarez

I believe my project fulfills the call for art because I use menstrual fluid as the primary source for the art and encouraged participants to confront their discomforts with menstruation. Empowerment was my main goal with the art, both for myself and for menstruators as a whole. The project was called “Cup of Flow” and involved my inviting a group of women over to my home to watch me interact with my menstrual blood and my menstrual cup. I interacted with the blood in a hands-on way that involved touching it, smelling it, wearing it as lipstick, and tasting it. My goal was to push the boundaries of what most of the attendees had probably experienced before. I also used a speculum to allow the attendees to watch me menstruate directly from the cervix, the source. I had accumulated some menstrual blood in a mason jar prior to the event that had coagulated and allowed for the guests to pass it around and examine it. The menstrual cup was an important element because we took the conversation into a broader spectrum of environmentalism. Everyone was allowed to take pictures and post to social media using the hashtag (#cupofflow). The images were flagged by Facebook users as “obscene,” but when threatened to have them removed we launched a formal complaint asking Facebook to reconsider by explaining that menstrual blood is natural and not trauma induced. The pictures ultimately remained posted to the website. In the revolution there will be blood!


“Niddah: The Curses” by Gabriella Boros

Gabriella Boros

Niddah: The topic of female victimaztion has been covered in the news with alarming frequency in the past year. This provoked me to turn to my own religious roots and learn about the Judaic tradition of Niddah, the14 day separation of women during and after menstruation. In traditional homes, women cannot have contact with their husbands nor participate in religious observation during Niddah. In this project, I project both the negativity that is inherent in the Talmudic view of women’s cycles as well as my own ambivalence to the bodily process.

Niddah: Seven Days: Over the course of seven panels an overprinted image emerges both reaching out and inaccessible. The last print shows a complete hand in black against a watery background, a visual reference to the tradition of ritual immersion that marks the completion of Niddah.

The Women Series: I reflect on how traditional women experience societal exclusion during their periods. The ghostlike images roughly flesh out each woman’s shape, their presence described by their absence. I gave these women a strong stance, unafraid and proud, yet their isolation is undeniable. Whether the isolation is societal or self-imposed it is unclear.

The Curses: These embroidered depictions show some of the physical manifestations of menstruants. The banners refer to a family coat of arms which displays negative sideffects with the pride that one hangs a family crest. At the bottom of every banner are bdikah cloths painted with abstractions. These are used by Jewish women to check for purity in the seven days following menses.

“Feminine Protection” by Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch

Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch

I love hardware stores. As a little girl, I would accompany my father on his errands and get lost in the aisles imagining all the things I could make from the bits and pieces I came across. Since that time, hardware stores have been the inspiration for many of the mixed-media sculptures I create. I see the beauty in common objects. Each bit and piece is a mini-sculpture to me. The shape of each singular object, the texture and the transformation of grouping small bits into a larger whole is what drives my art. By using everyday items and transforming them into something entirely different from their intended purpose, I try to draw the viewer in to take a closer look at materials and objects that ordinarily go unnoticed.

“Imbibe” by Lucy Madeline


Lucy Madeline

At the root of all my work is a fundamental belief in the power of image and an understanding of the body as the primary site of knowing the world. I see images and image making as a practice in magic as much as theory: I have found that by simply re-appropriating the female form through my work, I am able to simultaneously re-appropriate the female experience. I take back both personal cultural space through the making of alternative images of the abstract and literal female figure.

Working in painting, drawing, ephemeral sculpture, performance and video, I investigate the female body as it pertains to time, language and “other”. In my current work, I explore the contemporary implications of menstrual taboo, menstrual seclusion and menstrual rite in the context of everyday life. I consider the body directly through the methodical collection of my own hair and blood. I sew my hair into paper, drawing various stages of cellular mitosis and the replication of mother cells into daughter cells, investigating ideas of time, genesis and the m(other)ness of the body. I also make objects out of primal materials of the earth: pinesap, pine needles, dirt, beeswax, clay and bone ash, using natural pigments like yellow ochre and iron oxide. I use these materials to both cast and sculpt the female form.

Readers should note that statements published in re: Cycling are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.