Casting Off My Womb – 28 day durational artwork.
At 34 years old, Jenkins knitted a 15m long passage from yarn inserted daily in their vagina to mark one full menstrual cycle. The yarn was initially white, threaded slowly to red as it soaked with period blood, then back to white again. The work explored the dissonance between an individual’s quiet desires and potential, and intense community expectationsl regarding what they should do with their body, based on perceived gender.
28 day durational performance artwork
Darwin Visual Arts Association
Is Vaginal Knitting Art?, Interview with Suzanne Donisthorpe, Books & Arts Program, ABC Radio National, Dec 9 2013
Jenkins’s attention to non-utilitarian, creative production, reproduction and slowness in Casting Off My Womb can be powerful responses to the present conditions of gender inequality, labour precarity, insatiable consumption, immediate gratification and economic growth at all costs.Lara Stevens, Theatre Research International Journal
Histories of patriarchal representations and restrictions on women’s bodies may be contrasted with the rhythm of Jenkins’s body, her menstrual cycle representing passing time and her insistence on engaging with it.Kyra Clarke, Continuum Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
Clever and powerful...The self-referential, autonomous and self-determining unfolding body is a beautiful one, and it’s one which threatens a culture which seeks to control how women see their own bodies and those of others.Emma Rees, The Conversation
While Jenkins continues the tradition of feminist body art exposing the female body and revealing its interior biology, she takes this exploration to the next level by merging body and material, interior and exterior...when Jenkins removes the yarn from her body it bears traces of her bodily fluids, which are then interwoven with the final knitted work. During the act of creation, Jenkins is both artist and object, creator and created, occupying both subject positions simultaneously. Furthermore, in this piece, the womb produces not life, but art, and woman is an active agent in its creation; the production of the artwork is not simply the result of a biological process.Dr Amy Bryzgel, Visual Culture Aberdeen