Introducing the Vagina China Collections

The Women's Art League is putting vulvas front and center by creating an exhibition featuring 13 unique collections of handmade ceramic plates, each referencing classical pottery patterns and adorned with cast vulvas. Each set explores current issues that impact women today, from periods to pleasure, sex work to social activism. We are making 13 sets because it is the number of the divine feminine.

Vulva la Résistance

"Vulva la Résistance" is inspired by The Women's March and the Pink Pussyhat Revolution and named for the 1940 Résistance, a collection of French movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France. Many résistants often spoke of some "climax" when they saw some intolerable act of injustice, after which they could not longer remain passive.
"The Flower of Life" a tribute to the antiquities of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy and sexual plurality. This collection celebrates women and the birthright of feeling pleasure and enjoyment in one's body. 
 

Flower of Life

The Gold Standard

Gold is valuable and has been used as currency since ancient times. Cleopatra seduced Marc Antony aboard her ship on the Nile, over dinner served on gold dishes. US and world economies were once valued in gold, the “Gold Standard.” We choose inspiration in the historic valuation of gold and opulent domestic use of it to contrast issues of gender-pay gap, which devalues women in the work force through wage  discrimination. Today, women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. For women of color, the gap is significantly wider. African American women earn only 64 cents and Latinas just 55 cents. Women need one more degree than men to make the same average salary. Women still are not receiving equal pay for equal work, let alone equal pay for work of equal value. “The Gold Standard,” arranged as circle, or a coin, invites the viewer to contemplate why this gender-pay gap still exists for women today. 

La Matadora

Here is a peek of "La Matadora," currently in progress at the studio. This series explores the complexity of issues surrounding menstruation.
 

The Silk Road

This set of ceramics references The Silk Road—the ancient and storied trade route linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe— with the iconic blue and white china patterns long traded along it. But it wasn’t only fine china and rare goods that were traded along The Silk Road, it was also a heavily used sex-trafficking route and remains so today.

 

Sex trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing crimes, affecting every part of the world, with still more trafficking occurring on the internet and much of it along the black market’s appropriately named “Silk Road.” Global commercial profits for sexual slavery are estimated to be roughly $99 billion annually. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.8 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally, 99% of whom of are female. 

 

The Denver area is itself a sex-trafficking hub. With a roughly $40 million industry, human trafficking is a growing issue which impacts every corner of Colorado. According to the co-founder of The Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, “We’re in the middle of the country, and that makes us a destination state but also a transit state 

 

By contextualizing the historic Silk Road imagery within a contemporary framework, we aim to bring awareness to the horrific exploitation of women through the modern sex trade, asking viewers to consider the inextricable link between underground markets and sexual slavery.

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 All rights reserved © 2017 by The Women's Art League. Photography by Dona Laurita

Footage and imagery provided by Spoken Image