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BSO 2014


Jessika Wahls

viv1viv Well well well...

This is pretty much an entire new chapter to my artistry and i believe, my most important yet! Retex-sculpting is not only a way of creating something that i believe has not been done yet- in the way , shape and form that i am doing it ;

but i also aspire to get that word in the dictionary with a picture and my name next to it. Ambitious much?? well know me ;)

Anyhow, the way things began was a natural evolving one. HAving worked on my Monsters for a good two years, with a successful, sold-out exhibition/ auction under my belt, i started to get more and more demand for custom pieces. Little Monsters at first, but with the idea of Mini -me's that i had explored already at the exhibition, i started to develop more and more fine tuning with regards to resemblance and detailing.

Added to that came the request for more custom-made frames, and with that the idea grew in my head to actually mount the whole lot on a plywood backing. And so i did exactly that.

My first Retex-sculpure was to be Vivienne Westwood.

Why? you may ask,- well.. another idea has grown in my head. The concept of the exhibition i am working on at current- BIG SWINGING OVARIES - namely.

Simultaneously to creating my  way of sculpting fabric, i have also been on a discovery path to feminism!

And again- why? you may ask- 30 years old, and not a feminist yet?- why bother you may wonder... BECAUSE, it's so flippin important, and the older i get. the more impossible i find it to close my eyes to what is actually happening around me and everybody else!

Furthermore i found this quote that describes into the tiniest detail why:



The idea to the exhibition actually came before my actual journey to feminism began! I was thinking about a concept for a show and since i have always been drawn to biographies of interesting people- it has been a majority of female heroines that have come to inspire me by means of living their life the way the did- or still do.

So i decided to have a show in honor of these great ladies! Little did i know where the journey would lead me...!

In fact it wasn't till after a meeting with a creative contemporary that my feminist juices have been fueled. To be precise, it was the reaction to what my exhibition was going to be about, that particularly startled me- albeit on the inside..!

"so, you are a feminist then???"  was what i was asked. Doesn't really seem so weird i guess, except- it was the first time in my life, that somebody asked me that, and it was how the question was put to me, that gave me a feeling of unease.

Almost as if i had said something rather revolting or absurd. That was quickly followed with a little inside of my opponents thoughts, which were that - "feminism de-feminises women"- and - "it's not very attractive when women drink beer"-, finished with -"old gender roles are the better ones as they have proved to work"-......! I was gob smacked, to say the least.

A little confused about what just happened, i went home to discuss this with my other half,- whom i consider to be a supportive man who believes in equality  and who i live with in an equal day to day relationship for quite some time.

So i said (and excuse the nickname calling) "babe,- do you think i am a feminist?" With not to much consideration he replied "nope"

very much in the way of - "no babe- don't worry, you are not one of them"

Having just found out myself the weird feeling attached with the notion of feminism, i find it hard to blame anybody for such a reaction. And i know that there are radical feminist forces that disagree with that, but hey- so be it..!

To shorten the story to the essentials, here was my trigger. We started talking about it and it produced all sorts of feelings in me. The most dominant was - WHY DID I NEVER THINK I AM A FEMINIST????!!!!

There were all sorts of questions that i found difficult to answer even to myself, as i have grown up in a society that has come a long way, but unfortunately began to try and populate the belief that men and women are equal, when we are far from it!!!

I suppose it hadn't come to my attention, as i spent most of my 20's figuring myself out, which- believe me is a journey that will prevail for most of my life! Nevertheless- having always had a stubborn nature, a strong will and some might say a presence, i never much thought of the women that can't stand up for themselves, never mind the lack off a support system which i always had the luxury to enjoy, be it my family, or the well fare system of both, germany and the UK.

Most importantly, i always had people in my life that believed in me, and no value can be put on that! It's the only thing that matters in the end!

Right,- so with my newly awakened, thoroughly confused feminist conscientiousness, i started asking questions! Many questions at that. My part-time profession as a stylist allows me to take polls on a daily basis, and what i heard sometimes shook me to the bone!

The - i believe in equality but.... sentences flew at me in a lightening speed that makes you dizzy. Was i that oblivious to what people think??? Is that really what they think? or is that the same that had happened to me- the acceptance to certain things, which have been passed down generations, and that we just don't question???

It tickled me- it tickled me hugely. I spoke to my good friends, i asked random people that i only just had met on a night out,- women , men,- ARE YOU A FEMINIST??? and boy- the amount of people that said NO was startling, but what was even more interesting was the amount of people, that had come to believe the notion, that FEMINISM was a dirty word. A word that stands for women hating man- a word that implies that by being PRO WOMEN, one would by default be anti men....! That if one ought to be a feminist, one should surely believe in armpit hair, be against porn and and and .... the list is as long as it is ridiculous!

Interestingly enough, i found myself often ill equipped to actually answer questions with regards to these accusations. Goes to show how much the brainwash machinery has done it's magic on me...!

I started reading feminist blogs and webpages, and soon i felt, that there a huge support network out there which helped greatly with clearing up some of the nonsense that good hearted contemporaries keep repeating in the good faith that it's generally excepted and therefore right.One of my customers said interestingly that living a Patriarchal society is like being in the Matrix- often you don't know that you are right in the middle of it and therefore can't see that it exists as you lack the objective view! interesting i thought!


So by following some of these hugely interesting and inspiring Feminsit websites, i came across some thoughts, which i would like to quote here, as they really helped me by manifesting my believe in Feminism!

So there is this facebook page Equality4Women and the guy that runs it- yes that's right,- the GUY... he comes up with some pretty thought provoking stuff. To name but a few:

-"it's tragically fascinating that one of the arguments used by straight men against gays in the military was, that straight men would be the victims of unwanted sexual contact, including being hit on.

Gee, you mean it makes you feel uncomfortable to have unwanted sexual behaviours directed towards you, no matter how small? -How fucking interesting!!!"

-"if a girl or a woman's clothing bothers you, that says far more about your own issues than anything about her,- stop policing Women!!!"


-"Tired of some folks using the "boys will be boys and can't help themselves" logical fallacy ?

Well, if men supposedly can't control their biological urges, why should they be trusted in any position of leadership or authority?"



The irony against the word 'Feminism' is that every other aspect of the english language has a default male setting:

Groups of men and women can be called 'guys , global initiatives are done for 'mankind', labour force is measured in 'man hours ' etc.

And so it amuses me, that men who never take issue with that are somehow offended and "feel left out" when women organize for their rights under "feminism".

Should it not go both ways?!


SO there, that's just a few, but i gotta say- these comments have been hugely supportive for me, as i have often just felt like these are issues i have to tackle by myself.

Another mind boggling site is Everydaysexism. That's a page which has grown hugely over the past year! In essence it's a place where women of all origins, ages and backgrounds can share the sexual harassment they fall prey to on a daily basis. IT IS SHOCKING!!!! All the while it is genius! The internet has enabled women in the whole world to not only communicate but inspire another young and fresh wave of feminism. Social networking has helped to make peoples voices heard loud and clear!!


I will go more into detail with my exploration of Feminism and why i am now without a doubt a Feminist and a

BIG SWINGING OVARY at that, but for now i need to get back to the sewing board.