‘Period Treasures’ by Amy Heard, 2012

The last year at Kensington and Chelsea College has been an exciting and energising one as I have learnet so much and been given the freedom to let my imagination run loose, whilst keeping within the project set.  My tutors and colleagues have helped me discover what conceptual and technical themes and processes are really at the core of my work.  Thank you for your support and patience.

For our first project on the BTEC National Diploma we were asked to make a piece inspired by items at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.  It doubled as an entry to the V&A’s ‘Inspired by…’ competition for adult craft learners.

The piece I made in response is called ‘Period Treasures’ and is inspired by a brass lock from the 1700s.  The concept comes from a play on the meaning of the word ‘period’.  The V&A is a huge learning resource, housing all manner of period decoration and embellishment on ceramics, glass, jewellery, furniture, interiors, garden ware and much more.  ‘Periods’ are an aspect of womens’ lives which is sanitised, simplified and hushed up.  Even today they are something we joke or complain about and I wanted to create a beautiful and luscious space for the reclamation of menstruation as a positive reminder of womens’ ability to give life.

I have done so by making a keep safe box for the mundane, but essential items used during menstruation.  Intricate decals decorate the surface of an ibuprofen packet and porcelain tampons, which have deep red strings allowing them to be used as necklaces.  These sit on luxurious red satin cushioning.