Olivia Forrest Link CoLab 1 The VeeDee Massager

IMAGE: Starting point of looking into my first thoughts and initial ideas that I will take forward.
IMAGE: Exploring the object itself and what key points and symbols I can pick up and develop further.
IMAGE: Exploring how I can turn my chosen object into a final piece. I explored colour, choice of material and various textures.
IMAGE: This was the process of deciding what my final piece was going to look like. I looked at inspiration of what my final would represent and ways in which I could incorporate that inspiration. I continued to narrow my material choice and colour palette.
IMAGE: These are my four potential final designs. I explored various ideas to allow myself to choose which one I felt fitted the brief the best and which one related to my theme and chosen object.
IMAGE: Reflecting on my final outcome and how it links back to my initial ideas, brief and theme.

I am going to respond to the idea of expanding the definition of what it is to be human, through the perspective of women during the 18th and 19th centuries. My focus is to convey the constricting and limiting expectations of mental health issues placed onto women by men. Hysteria, once a common mental disorder, only attributed to women, detailed the ways in which women suffered a list of symptoms ranging from anxiety, delirium, shortness of breath, to the most frequent symptom, sexual deprivation. My focus is to convey the harmful and critical stereotypes placed on gender and sex.

The VeeDee Massager, created by men, presented women with the opportunity to ‘rid’ their Female Hysteria, through what was described as a ‘pelvic massage’. This process would induce an orgasm, which would allegedly re-establish a women’s health. I decided to take this initial idea forward to create a piece which would convey the true reality of the restricting and confining battles women faced with their mental health.

My work reflects the ways in which women’s mental health was misconstrued, misinformed and purely neglected on the notion that men respected strict, sexist humanist beliefs.

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