Title:  A very personal garment

No. 1 in the: ‘...bloody women!’ Collection

Garment: Women’s Corset

Materials: Paper and thread

Size: Life-sized





The text on the central rings reads:

Studies show that as few as 14% of women actually experience (regularly) a 28 days cycle. In no age group has it been demonstrated that a 28 day cycle occurs more than on average 16% of the time and on average 13% of women experience a variation of less than six days. Perhaps as many as 75% of women experience some level of Pre-menstrual Tension (PMT). Many also experience symptoms pre-ovulation (POS). These symptoms may include: anxiety, depression, bloating, clumsiness, confusion, forgetfulness, cravings, dizziness, fatigue. Old skin is stripped away and raw flesh exposed creating a wound on the inside surface as assuredly as a bad burn would on the outside surface…it can be exquisitely painful. Cravings for red/purple foods: red meat, red wine, beetroot, purple berries etc may stem from the fact that in one month (due to the period) women lose almost twice as much iron as men and need to replenish their stores.


The hormones involved in the female cycle are incredibly powerful in extremely small amounts. During the menstrual cycle the bodily factors that exhibit measurable changes include: sex hormone-levels; buccal, rectal and vaginal temperatures; metabolism and blood sugar; water retention and body weight; alveolar CO2 concentration (the alveolar are found in the lungs, they participate in gas-exchange: carbon dioxide - oxygen); blood acidity and serum bicarbonate; heart rate; blood counts; concentrations of such vitamins as A, C and E; thyroid and adrenal function; the viscosity and amount of urine; pain threshold; acuity of the senses of sight, vision and hearing; work performance; emotional response; psychic ability; the ability to walk in a straight line; the bodies level of electrical static; the nature of the symbols in dreams; sensitivity to external ‘atmospheres’; anxiety levels; ease of breathing; cravings/desires for (particularly sweet/carbohydrate rich) specific foods; breast tenderness; memory; many mental factors; others (often very personally specific).


Studies show that pre-ovulation women have a tendency to dream of trials by water, often accompanied by physical symptoms of water retention. In comparison pre-menstrual dreams may well be of blood and fire.


Ovulation is said to occur mid cycle (somewhere between days 14 to 17). However, human women may ovulate at almost any time in their cycle. The presence of a desired love one or an ardent longing for a child (for example) can affect the cycle. Day 21. Corpus Luteum peaks. After an ovum has been released the follicle which released it grows large and becomes yellow in colour. As this happens it acquires a new name the corpus luteum (yellow body - Luteus in Latin means yellow, corpus means both body and corpse) as well as a new function (hormone secretion on its own account).


Cravings for yellow/white foods: peanuts, potatoes, bananas, etc may stem from the bodies increased need for potassium, magnesium and other minerals/vitamins. Cravings for white food, particularly dairy, likely stem from the bodies need for added magnesium/calcium during this period. In addition to Pantothenic acid/B6/Vitamin E and evening primrose oil these have been proved to ease PMT. Cravings for chocolate are commonly recognised and may relate to moments of bodymind tension. Chocolate also contains many essential trace elements/nutrients including: iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E. Cocoa is one of the highest natural sources of Magnesium.


In the late stage of the pre-menstrual quadrant women often notice themselves becoming more clumsy. Minor accidents (cut fingers etc) are common. It is almost as if this tine of the month is seeking the blood which is about to come. The profound rhythmic changes experienced physically (monthly) by women are acknowledged by science to have an effect not just on the individual but on the men, children and other women she comes into contact with.


The text on the outer surface reads:

An anovular cycle (lack of ovulation) can be caused by any number of physical, emotional, physiological, social or obscure reasons. For example when a woman’s weight falls below a critical (and very individual) measure her body won’t manage to menstruate. Similarly if she experiences a frightening shock; the explosion of a physical bomb for example has been proved to cause conceivable changes in the uteruses of women near by. A woman’s first ever menstrual cycle is very likely to be anovular. Women can menstruate twice in the same cycle also.


Though some women pass comfortably between the red and white face of each cycle for others the brink of the two points of change (the transition from each stage to its opposite) is a time when variously blackened shades of greyish conflict play out inside them. Ovulation and menstruation are actually very different and the transition from one to the other is a significant feat of transformation; a shape-shifting. Facing the trials of separation and transition every two weeks within themselves, women are likewise journeying from one realm of inner experience, a singular landscape, to another, its polar opposite in thrust and inspiration.


Academics have proposed that calendar consciousness developed first in women, because of their natural menstrual (body) calendar, correlating with observations of the moon’s phases. Chinese women established a lunar calendar 3,000 years ago, dividing the celestial sphere into 28 stellar mansions through which the moon passes. Among the Maya of Central America every woman knew that the great Maya calendar had first been based on her menstrual cycles. The rhythm of menstruation is measured in time that is real (felt and bodily experienced). The moon winds on its established course, waxing and waning, seemingly lost, to be found again. This is lunar time. In comparison the suns disk is rarely diminished in its unvarying glare. This is solar time. Linear time is a mark of masculinity - call it  Chronos - it offers one chance at everything, one creation, fall, incarnation, day of judgement. Circular (feminine) time - Kairos - adopts a softer, sweeping motion, thus one may re-visit important moments.