The Phoenix Rising for Her Galaxy Crossing
Soon after the turn of the millennium, Vanessa Tiegs created 88 paintings between 2000-2003. She gave her paintings a name that had never been spoken before: Menstrala.
The word Menstrala is the neologism that names the 21st century women's art movement that respectfully reframes and thoughtfully redefines the world's oldest taboo - menstrual blood.
Several of the paintings from the collection have been featured in documentary films, art magazines, academic journals, posters and blog write-ups. One Menstrala was even displayed in the Persian Gulf while onboard U.S. Navy supercarrier, USS Kitty Hawk during the Iraq War in 2003.
Menstrala remind us that women bleed for days to renew their fertility while general reactions to them expose a deep fear and loathing of woman's blood that has not yet been adequately debunked.
High-gloss acrylic medium mixed with menstrual blood on white gessobord.
Mathematics derives from the root word "ma." By counting the number of dark moons in their fertility cycles from conception until giving birth, mothers created mathematics, as well as the very first calendars. Women's 9-month long gestation cycle, or pregnancy, correlates exactly with eclipse cycles: see Dietrech Pessin's Lunar Shadows III: The Predictive Power of Moon Phases and Eclipses, 2009.
The word taboo originates from Polynesian tapua and means menstruation and sacred. The similarity between taboo and tattoo is intentional.
The word ritual originates from Sanskrit r'tu and means the rite of menstruation. Women's blood rites (menarche, defloration, birthing babies, menstruating, and menopause) were the very first rights.
The word cosmetics, also called make-up or war paint, derives from cosmetikos, which means ordering the cosmos through symbols written on the body. Dr. Judy Grahn's Metaformic Theory and Blood, Bread & Roses, tells how menstruation created the world while men's parallel blood rites eventually became woven into human culture.
She symbolizes the full moon when pregnant and the dark moon when menstruating.
She bleeds for days without dying, silently enduring as many as 500 bleeds through womanhood with little to no cultural support to practice the benefits of mindful menstruation.
In the “Lunar Cosmology” of the Aymara people in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, the word for the menstrual blood of women is p'axsi wila, meaning moon blood, which also refers to the first glimpse of the new moon. (Denise Y. Arnold quoted by Dr. Judy Grahn.)
What started in 2000 as a visual dream journal of "Pain-Things" grew into a controversial art genre.
An army of memes that focused on red pixels presenting Pain-Things of menstrual blood began introducing the menstrual blood artworks to new audiences all around the world.
The jpeg of "October Flight" was requested and served to the Vatican's website domain on November 9, 2002.
Women's Menstrala are collectively reforming the stigma of bleeding. Redefining this cyclical event as a monthly renewal is one way to confidently embrace the mysteries of womanhood and own the psychological powers that menstrual blood represents: a connection to lunar and cosmic rhythms.
In 2014, the artist was invited to serve as a judge in an international Menstrala competition organized by a University in Mexico. Increasing numbers of artists around the world today are choosing to address menstruation visually.
In 2009, Rockstar Dave Navarro, guitarist from Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Pepper band, asked to buy "Voluntary Leaps" after filming a collab in her San Francisco art studio.
Menstrala's purpose is to take a solid stance in deconstructing societal mind control honed on innocent girls who are in much need of support. Each creative contribution to the Menstrala art movement raises awareness of the need for health reforms in public education and medical practices. Soon, the first of its kind Menstrala NFTs will be offered on the XRPL, and will be 100% donated in the first year to CeMCOR's Endowment Fund. Since its inception in 2002, The Centre for Menstrual Cycle & Ovulation Research at the University of British Columbia promotes new medical standards in women's health.
The artist’s last Menstrala in her collection, No. 88, painted in 2003 and entitled The Decoder, features the artist's deep red menstrual blood conclusively turned to gold.
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