By Holly Ryan
Taken of the artist, by the artist, Cunt-a-loupe explores a woman’s individual sexuality as a pleasureful and empowering experience. The photograph is inspired by a recollection of uncomfortable experiences concerning the vagina and vulva. At age 14, the artist shared a few strained conversations in which her friends deemed their own vulvas to be gross, ugly and obscene. At 18, the artist worked in a kitchen with mainly young, male chefs for which one day they were cutting open cantaloupes and one of the boys jokingly stuck their fingers into the cantaloup’s vagina-like centre.
With the juxtaposition of the cantaloupe to the groin, the almost pornographic image pays homage to these experiences. The title of the work too, “Cunt-a-loupe,” reflects these negative experiences as the vulva itself is often shamed, scorned or joked about by both men and women. Cunt-a-loupe feeds from these negative ideas and opinions and creates new meaning. The woman’s vulva is pleasureful, sweet and individual.
Holly Ryan is an emerging artist who works with a variety of mediums. She is known for her performance art, photography and drawing as they often convey feminist meaning. Some of Holly’s artistic influences include photographer, Ryan McGinley, ancient Chinese art and the literary works of D.H.Lawrence. Holly resides in Montreal, Quebec where she recently completed her BFA at Concordia University.