Dripping on Canvas is a series of intimate paintings that bear witness to a personal journey and the joy of living as a sexual being.
I discovered masturbation quite late in my life. And it didn’t come easy. It was not really a matter of shame or of a Christian upbringing, I broke away from these views long ago, but my vulva felt dead. I am a survivor of incest and rape and most of my relationships were imbued with behavioural patterns I was not even aware of. Plus, my attitude to sex was needy and borderline.
After the age of thirty however I’ve been lucky to meet partners who told me that my sexuality belonged to me and not to them (and conversely that I could not expect them to be the people systematically fulfilling my needs/fantasies).
At the same time, I’ve had to come to grips with my history and enjoy anew the pleasure of body touch (dance and contact improvisation helped a great deal). That said, I was terrified to realise how much I still was, years later, submitting to what my aggressor dictated I should do and like.
My wish for mental and sexual healing lead me on a journey of self-discovery where I made space for myself. I started touching my body differently, caressing my vulva and connecting solo with my inner cells and tissues. Eventually, I explored the whole territory and repopulated my own void with positive thoughts and images. It was not a quest for the ultimate orgasm. I only wished to awaken my senses, unlock the brain and be in tune with topical sensations.
As it happens, my peaks of pleasure can produce a lot of liquid. Even though I like the smacking watery noise, I felt a bit helpless. Fortunately, I never felt judged when it happened during sex with partners. When unsure if I had to repress it or let it flow, partners showed support, so I relaxed and there was no stress or sense of shame around my ejaculation.
Yet, I felt concerned with the quantity and wondered what I could do with it. It never crossed my mind to throw my squirting juice away as ‘dirty waters’. It was far too precious! So, I started calling it 'eya' and watered my plants with it and then thought I should celebrate this happy flow with paintings and smeared it on my canvases to use it as a base.
On the creative level, the fun doubled because I was practising the dripping technique of abstract expressionism with another material than paint. For Feathered Kiss, I stuffed cotton between the canvas and the frame to give a bulgy, curvy aspect to the piece and allude to the soft touch of the cervix. I also added tiny sea stones to form a gemmed river. The title refers to Eurydice by Sue Hubbard, a poem found in the Waterloo underpass. For The Drippings of My Cunt, which is rougher and more organic, but very fragile, I used eya, pubic hair, shells, rocks, feathers and wax.
PeAuApAu, oil on canvas, is definitely about bodies meeting, gliding and the blending of fluids.
The eya series is about reclaiming one’s own body, celebrating the letting go and the colourful diversity of pleasure. The use of absorbing paper reminds that too often female ejaculation is dismissed, shamed, deprecated or looked at as a scientific phenomenon. My work is telling a different story.