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A Journey to the Breast

I went to an art opening at Women’s Work for the show , ‘Women at Work’. I had one of my vintage vignettes hanging. The show was interesting, fun, whimsical.

Hanging in the main gallery were about 6, of what looked to be punching bags and covered in breasts. I get the message and it’s powerful but I am so over breasts as an expression of women. Why not armor, multiple arms, jeans and flannel shirt, sleeves rolled up, many hats? Lots of possibilities.

I’m so over breasts! I’m kind of ranting about it on my way home, “I’m sick of breasts” “there’s more to women than nipples!” Artists are trying to shock or make a statement

So what did I do? I went home and made breasts! And then a torso.

At the show was a little piece made of pattern paper. I don’t know what it was. I’m not afraid to admit I don’t get it. But I decided to make breasts of papier-mâché pattern paper, wasn’t sure if it could be done but I decided to try.

I needed a mold/base so I used disposable plastic bowls. I papier-mâché'd (PM'd) over them and then connected them. I thought they looked good. (later my daughter told me they were too flat in the middle and needed to be redone.) I saw what she meant but decided it was my interpretation. I toyed with the idea of nipples and nipple ring but decided against it.

The torso presented another problem of what to use for the base. I think problem solving is my creative forte. I wound up using many layers of packing paper ( I found it in one of my closets) and wadded some up where I needed volume. Then I PM’d over it, added the breasts until it was all strong enough.

I mounted it to a canvas and wound up adding a necklace and belt. I thought about putting undies under her skirt but decided not to.

It’s not really art but it was something I was compelled to do so I did! I was part of an open studio tour the next month and some people commented positively on my torso/breast project.

Below are my notes/ideas for the project.

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Idk why my phone kept "auto-correcting" comment should have read - very cool, Donna.


Very colse, Donna. I like how you shared your thought process on the piece.


I like the piece you did and I also like the piece in the show.

Loved your medium of pattern paper.

What if the artist had breast cancer would you have viewed her work differently.

R Chalfin

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