A performance artist is hitting back at thousands of people who send her derogatory and abusive comments online by knitting their words using wool she inserts in her vagina. Casey Jenkins, 36, based in Melbourne became a target for online trolls - who called ‘gross’ and an ‘attention w***e’ - after she debuted a performance in 2013 where she knitted wool from her vagina over 28 days.
She said it was apparent that most of them drafted their comments without seeing her original performance piece or looking at her work online. 'I have hacked old knitting machines to digitally reproduce the online abuse I received using yarn partially dyed by menstrual blood — this will be a nod to the robotic, machine-like way we are judged by society and the roles we play in perpetuating that system,' Ms Jenkins said.
She performed previously in 2013 in the Darwin Visual Arts Association, sitting in the gallery and inserting wool into herself each day as she continued knitting for an entire month – continuing even during her menstrual cycle.
‘The piece for me is about assessing and being intimate with my own body,’ Ms Jenkins said during an interview in a previous interview. ‘I think the expectation when you’re showing the vulva is that people are going to feel fear and revulsion.’
‘So by linking the vulva to something that people find warm and fuzzy and benign and even boring, such as knitting for a long period of time, I hope that people question their fears and the negative association with it,’ she said.
Ms Jenkin's 'Programmed to Reproduce' will be on display at the Arts House in North Melbourne Town Hall from March 2 to March 11.