"May the word Menstrala become universal, just like our cycles."
~Vanessa Tiegs, M.A.
American born artist Vanessa Tiegs was referred to as a modern-day renaissance woman during her 2009 radio interview.
"Using paint was not an option for Menstrala," stated the romantic ballerina, classical pianist, modern architectural model builder, astrological spiritual advisor, and inventor of Monthmatics and other creations.
Vanessa Tiegs means ghost of Venus (V-Ness). Tiegs is the anagram of Geist (ghost in German).
In September 2000, she created her first Menstrala painting, Silverfish Spirits:
Over the next 3 years, she created 88 paintings with her menstrual blood which completed her Menstrala collection in 2003.
Menstrala address the mystery of womanhood: "Menstrual blood, the world's oldest and least understood taboo, is a source of psychological and cycle logical female power."
What inspired her to create her paintings? “Humanity needs an affirmative, dignified memory of this invisible taboo that has been misconstrued over countless generations.”
To girls who have just begun menstruating: "Menstrala reframe the taboo positively, thoughtfully, respectfully. The paintings heighten awareness of the challenging health predicament of womanhood. Artists who contribute to the art movement are affirming menstrual blood by honoring menstruation as their cycle logically and psychologically creative monthly renewal."
She further explains, "Because we are cyclical beings by nature, we cannot disassociate from any phase within any cycle. Without the darkest hours of the 24-hour cycle, we would cease functioning as we know. We renew from a good night's sleep. The same principle applies to longer time scales, such as the lunar and menstrual cycles. Menstrual blood is woman's blood sacrifice for the whole of humanity to renew her fertility for procreative continuation."
Menstruation has become too easy to joke about. Memes show that menstruation needs more thoughtful discussion. A vast majority of girls do not receive support to deal with this difficult, often painful reality that affects their self-identity, self-esteem, self-worth and sexuality. "Finding one's voice is a part of maturing, and Menstrala give girls cultural validation to find their voice as young women."
In closing, it is the artist‘s experience that viewing art created out of natural, cyclical menstrual blood that we have disassociated ourselves from since the origination of Medusa is much less disturbing than viewing the violently spewed cinematic blood seen predominantly in the film industry’s productions.
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