Today, the Vagina Museum has launched a poster campaign and accompanying silent auction to raise funds and cement its place as the world's first bricks and mortar museum "dedicated to the gynaecological anatomy".
Open Soon is part of a drive to keep the museum going following the impact of Covid-19, so it continues to "spread knowledge, empower and raise awareness of social justice and public health" – something it says "the public just cannot afford to lose".
The idea came after three advertising creatives – Nathalie Gordon, Amy Fasey, Jacob Hellström – approached the museum's director Florence Schechter in May, offering their help for free. Together they reached out to artists of different genders, sexualities, nationalities and disciplines to ask if they would create a piece of original art for the museum to be sold in a silent auction.
"The Vagina Museum operates on a fully inclusive basis and is proud to be an LGBTQ+ and intersex ally – it was paramount that the people approached to work on this campaign, and the work created, were representative of that," says Florence. In the end, 58 artists created unique pieces based on the vagina. From embroidered textile banners from Millie Sewell-Knight to line drawing of public hair from Mr Bingo to gold-leaf-covered clay casts of the clitoris from Merissa Hylton to a queer self-portrait from Ezra Smith, the breath of original pieces available is genuinely unique.
The auction will run for the next two weeks up until doors reopen on Saturday 3 October. Due to the pandemic, the auction will be online only at www.vaginamuseum.co.uk/opensoon. All bids can be made by emailing [email protected] and quoting the name of the piece.
Florence adds: "I'm so excited to have the museum open again and spreading the vulva love. The pandemic hit us pretty hard because we have no external funding, and we are so new that we were not eligible for most government support. Staying safe is our highest priority and we will be doing everything we can to keep our staff, volunteers and visitors, as safe as possible."