Arts·ART YOUR HEART OUT

These embroidered vaginas and menstrual pads flip the perception of a 'feminine and delicate' art

Artist Michelle Gauthier is cross-stitching an intense juxtaposition between form and content.

Artist Michelle Gauthier is cross-stitching an intense juxtaposition between form and content

These embroidered vaginas and menstrual pads flip the perception of a 'feminine and delicate' art

5 years ago
Duration 3:00
Michelle Gauthier's mission is to create feminist and reproductive-themed works in order to promote self-love, to embrace individuality and to show that there is no cause for shame when it comes to what is natural.

Michelle Gauthier's journey into working in embroidery with feminist themes began when she was a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU). At the time, Gauthier felt like no one had really taken the form and done anything "sort of wild or out of the box with it...something like a vagina as a cross-stitch." So she decided to give it a try, and she hasn't stopped since.

Ultimately, Gauthier's mission became to create feminist and reproductive-themed works in order to promote self-love, to embrace individuality and to show that there is no cause for shame when it comes to what is natural. She uses cross-stitch and embroidery to depict expressive and opinionated themes.

Michelle Gauthier's cross-stitch of a menstrual pad. (CBC Arts)

"I think what's interesting about what I do with the medium of embroidery and cross-stitch is that those mediums are thought of as extremely feminine and delicate and so these themes create a really intense juxtaposition between form and content," she says.

That juxtaposition is clear as Gauthier creates an embroidered version of a menstrual pad in the above video, created by Emily Diana Ruth. "It happens to everyone who has a vagina," Gauthier said of her inspiration for the piece. "You don't need to be disgusted, you don't need to be afraid of it...you should just embrace it."

See more of Gauthier's work here.

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