Fighting with the Sky

Breast Implications #6: Boob Art

Posted on: August 3, 2009

As part of our project on the (in)visibility of breasts, we hosted a boob art event at the Beloit College Women’s Center (one of the special interest houses). This event was intended to celebrate the beauty and creativity of breasts by placing paint on our bare breasts to create imprints on paper.

Organizing the event was slightly difficult. Because we were using campus funds for our supplies (donated from the Women’s Center), we could not technically exclude anyone from the event. But we wanted the event to be women only to make it a safe atmosphere for women to be topless. We had to be kind of discreet about advertising. We relied mainly on word of mouth, but we also created a invite-only Facebook event that we sent out to our friends with the instructions to tell all of their friends.

In the end, we had a pretty good turn out. We held in on Spring Day* so that people would most likely be available. We had probably between 20 and 25 people come during the two hour period when the event was held. Most of these people were friends with one of us. We had a couple people come that none of us new, which was great and meant that we were doing something that was of interest to the rest of the campus community.

When we started we were behind closed doors with a sign on them saying “Knock First.” We wanted to make sure that everyone felt comfortable in the environment. I’ll admit that even though I had come up with the idea and helped to plan the event, I was a little nervous and self-conscious about getting started. I’m not used to standing around topless in public. When we started there were around 5 of us. We tended to focus solely on what we as individuals were doing instead of looking at what others were doing. But once we got used to being in a room with topless women with paint all over them, things started to change. People came in and out, as was intended. And by the end of the two hours, the doors were open, we were wandering around the house, pictures were being taken, and we didn’t really notice that everyone was topless…it just became normal.

To the left is a picture of one of my creations.

This event really showed the creative and unifying power of breasts. We all became closer that day because we were creating art together with our bodies. Breasts (whether naturally given or not, whether taken away or not) connect all women. Breasts can also make beautiful art, as we witnessed that afternoon. I probably made around 10 paintings that day and loved everyone of them. They were beautiful because my body made them. My breasts had always just kind of been there, but this seemed to give them a different, creative purpose. I highly recommend that all women out there try this activity once in their lives. It’s empowering to see your body make beautiful art. It’s also empowering and a bonding experience to create this art with a group of beautiful women.

*Spring Day is a Beloit College tradition. It is held on a Wednesday in late April every year. Classes are cancelled and a carnival-type thing is held. There is a dunk tank, inflatable play things, tye dye, and various other booths sponsored by campus clubs. It’s one of the best days of the year, if the weather is agreeable. This year it was gorgeous. Just thought I’d make you a little jealous of my college 😉


2 Responses to "Breast Implications #6: Boob Art"

Love the top breast art picture. Maybe I will have a go. When I was in art foundation, my two friends and I decided to make plaster casts of eachother's boobs. It was a very rewarding experience to actually celebrate our breasts. Unfortunately I gave mine to my then boyfriend. What a mistake. Anyway there's a little article about Harriet Harmon you might like to read on my blog:

We originally thought about making bust forms, but we didn't have the time or the resources. Because the event was open to the public, we didn't know how many people would come. So the boob art was more practical and a lot of fun!I will definitely check out the link…thanks!

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