What’s a Woolva? We’ll get to that. First, let me set the scene for you:
I had been watching the #metoo movement build with wide eyes. I was so proud of these people, and so sad for them too. So many women affected by revolting behaviour that had been tolerated, and accepted by society at large. I wasn’t in denial about my own experiences - many of which are really scary, and we’ll get to them in another post, another time, but I didn’t feel that I had the right to see those assaults as part of #metoo.
Obviously part of my grooming to accept assault and harassment as life as usual.
Bullshit. Such absolute bullshit.
I had never felt that my body was my own. Sex, although fun with my current partner, still held issues for me.
Because of what men had done to me without my consent.
Because of the humans around me who normalized abuse.
Because of the shame cast upon survivors of rape.
Because I have red hair and that means I always want it (actual words said to me).
A Woolva is fibre art piece made to resemble a vulva. Woolvas are the reclaiming of vulvas as our own.
My vulva is beautiful, and unique, and I deserve to love it, as does every woman. Vulvas aren’t vulgar.
I love making Woolvas, and I love what they stand for. I wanted to share them - but I was afraid that maybe these wouldn’t convey the message.
ENTER FREEWHEELING - In February 2018 there was a Valentine’s market. My weekdays are Saturdays and Sundays, and I didn’t feel confident that I could justify taking time off work for a gamble - like art. But as luck would have it, there was a Friday night I could sell at - and Amanda at Freewheeling gave me the A-ok to set up.
I’m really glad she gave me the shot, because geezus I loved it so much. Although, I embarrassingly had to ask a neighbour how to use my Square App for my first sale. (thankyou @scatterbee) Like a friggin’ geriatriatric, I couldn’t figure out to just touch the button.
My goal was just to experience it, and to break even. Pretty lofty, I know. Well Holy schmoly - I actually hit my goal plus a little extra.
To think that I almost didn’t apply to be a vendor because I wasn’t sure if anyone would connect to my feminist art. They did connect with it though, and it may have actually been the reason for all the changes that followed through the year.
I may have killed the fear of taking Woolvas into the world, but I was too scared to take a weekend off again - for almost the entire year. That’s alright friends, I’ll be crushing that fear later. Hopefully next year you’ll be just as likely to see my at a Freewheeling as at the diner.
One fear at a time.
Don't be afraid to be scared.