October 2013 is almost over, and for some reason I haven’t found nearly as many examples of “#Pinkverts” that have seemed worth the time to blog. I’m not sure if that’s because there’s been little in the way of novelty this year, or if the pinkwashing backlash is finally starting to have an effect.
Here’s one worth looking at, however: Boob Wallpaper.
Artist Sam Pooley is an artist based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK. Over the past year or so, she has photographed the bare chests of 264 women of all ages and walks of life, with the plan of transforming them into wallpaper.
Not just any wallpaper, mind you, but a subtle black-and-white pattern with a damask overlay, intended for fine decor. Digitally printed, it comes in 12 different colours and sells for £100 per roll.
25% of profits from the sale of the wallpaper are donated to Coppafeel!, who you might remember from Octobers past.
This project seems more honest than many bare-breasted fundraising efforts, however, because the artist is so well-intentioned.
“The project has been an incredible journey, I have met so many inspirational women, says Ms. Pooley. “Women who have survived breast cancer, pregnant mums, grandmothers, women who loved their breasts, women who hated them, but all of them united in a determination to raise awareness about breast cancer and celebrate the female form.
“I am so very proud of all the women, so very grateful to them for taking part. I think that what we have created together is a commentary about ordinary women and how they feel about their bodies in the 21st century. What is striking, when you see the images side-by-side, is how very different we all are.”
When the project had its grand opening exhibition at the Shrewsbury Coffee House, a number of the models attended and had really lovely things to say about the experience:
“I pushed myself to take part. It was a bit of a Baz Luhrmann thing of ‘do one thing every day that scares you’. I was very nervous at first, but in the end I’m so pleased to have been part of it. It was for a worthy cause, it was fun to do and it’s actually made me feel better about my body. The wallpaper is very elegant and very cleverly done.” – Teacher Anna EdwardsIt’s hard not to be reminded of the movie Calendar Girls (although the average age here is younger). It’s a refreshing change from the sexualized, male-gaze-bait topless campaigning we see far too much of.
“I think the wallpaper is beautiful. It’s very clever. I haven’t found myself yet, but I shall carry on looking. Some of the women who were photographed wore necklaces to help them spot themselves afterwards which was a good idea!” – Sarah Hopper, who did it in memory of a friend who had died from the disease at the age of 38
“It’s more tasteful and artistic than I thought it would be. It’s lovely.” – Shrewsbury Town councillor Karen Burgoyne