Suzannah Schreckhise

Menstruating I
Menstruating II
Menstruating III
mixed media collage
11 x 8.5 in.

Many women welcome their periods because it means they won’t be a mother.

Incarcerated women have to suffer negative consequences within their prison community. An innocent monthly ritual of being a women is used against them by male guards in power who often withholding sanitary products to humiliate and demean. These collages were made for an exhibit, “Woman in Jail”. I wanted to call attention to the problem women have in prison when that have their periods.

Menstruating is so natural and calls for celebration. Christiane Northrup M.D says, “The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids but of information and creativity. We receive and process information differently at different times in our cycles.I like to describe menstrual cycle wisdom this way: from the onset of menstruation until ovulation, we’re ripening an egg and—symbolically, at least—preparing to give birth to someone (or something) else, a role that society honors.” If we were born and socialized this way Woman could have a whole new experience and outlook about their periods. I place the woman in a goddess stance.

Stickers and tampon rappers with the bright red paint show the current menstruating state of women. I used colorful and childlike Collages to communicate menstruating, an innocent experience unique to women. I used childlike stickers and images to bring attention the imbalance of power and vulnerability a women has in prison. There is evidence that I have touched, glued, painted and torn the paper. When I feel powerless over a situation it is mandatory for me to put my hands to work making something to emote. I wanted the girls here, playing and carefree, still innocent.

© Suzannah Schreckhise