LONDON—In 2019, the world’s first brick-and-mortar Vagina Museum opened in Camden, London with the aim of smashing stigmas, spreading awareness of the gynecological anatomy and health, and giving people the confidence to discuss issues related to vaginas.
The project was launched after the founders found out that while there was a penis museum in Iceland (the Icelandic Phallological Museum), no such permanent museum existed for vaginas. But shortly after it opened, Covid-19 forced the museum to close.
Three advertising creatives from Pablo London—Nathalie Gordon, Amy Fasey and Jacob Hellström—recently approached the museum and offered, pro bono, to help promote its reopening and raise its profile to attract much needed donations. The creatives said they did it because they believed the museum was “something the public just cannot afford to lose” after the museum warned it might have to close permanently.
The resulting work is a series of attention-grabbing, boundary-pushing, innuendo-filled poster and digital billboard ads about vaginas as part of a campaign titled “Open Soon.”
The artwork comes from a collection created by 58 artists approached by the trio. The creators are of different genders, sexualities, nationalities and disciplines, and their original works will be sold at an online auction, with proceeds going to the Vagina Museum. The creatives said the breadth of artists approached, including members of the LGBTQ community, reflected the museum’s fully inclusive ethos.
Ad space was donated by London Lites and the Jack Agency.
The artists were asked to use vaginas as their inspiration, and worked in media as diverse as paint, embroidery and clay. The auction runs until Saturday, and images of the pieces will also be shared as content on the Vagina Museum’s social channels.
“I’m so excited to have the museum open again and spreading the vulva love,” said Florence Schechter, director of the Vagina Museum. “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.”
A hugely important space
The creatives said they felt privileged to work on the project, and that they hoped it would be enough to give the museum a boost.
“Businesses have been pounded during Covid—and none more so than the arts sector,” said Gordon, who served as creative director. “Having inclusive spaces like the Vagina Museum where people of all walks of life can come and learn about everything from FGM (female genital mutilation) to the basic science of the vagina, whilst also having access to evening events about sex positivity and safe and inclusive community outreach programs—these are all things we cannot afford to lose.”
Fasey, one of the creatives on the project, added: “I can only say a massive thank you to every artist who has donated their work, and to the Vagina Museum for the opportunity. It’s been a really special thing to see everyone come together on this exciting, empowering and educational project. I hope that together we can raise a good amount of cash for the museum’s opening.”
Fellow creative Hellström said: “Nat, Amy, and I are all extremely passionate about the museum and its mission, and we wanted to do our part in making sure that it could continue its vital work. I’m very thankful to Florence for taking the time to work together with us to bring this project to life.
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