Young Romanian artist Timi Pall has been the talk of the town ever since she posted on Facebook a painting she created with her menstrual blood, during the beginning of the year.
Timi, a graphic designer from Oradea, used her menstrual blood on canvas over a period of nine months to paint an unborn baby, and named it ‘The Diary of My Period’.
Your immediate reactions might be “ew..disgusting”, “gross”, “weird” or “nauseating”, as others too, unsurprisingly, were none too pleased when Timi showcased her art to the world.
But she did find support from some quarters for her “fantastic", "outside the box", "original", "wonderful", "motivational", "emotional" and "brave" work.
The 28-year-old artist, who describes herself as an introvert, spoke to The New Indian Express, saying she has always tried to express herself through art and music.
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary,” said Pablo Picasso once. And Timi says that is exactly what she did — kept a diary of her period through her painting — to talk about the normal bodily process of women that society stigmatises, and thus send a strong message out.
Timi chronicled her innermost feelings, pain and distress of every single day and month of her menstrual cycles in her art, which is why she calls it a diary.
Timi’s painting is not just about liberal thinking towards menstruation, she says. “Each time I create a piece of art, I feel that I'm giving birth to a baby, because it belongs to me. It was conceived in my brain, and born through my hands or through different artistic tools and substances. In 'The Diary of My Period', this connection is even stronger, because the tool and the substance also belong to me!” Timi explains.
The young artist wishes to showcase her work at various art galleries and was glad to see her family feeling proud and being supportive of her initiative.
Describing her nine-month artistic process as she conceived it in her mind, Timi says, “Each month, a woman has the chance to become pregnant, but with the menstrual flow the ovum is eliminated. My concept was to give birth to an artwork illustrating a baby during these nine months, and actually I created a ‘start of the end…’”.
Though the criticisms are just water off a duck's back to Timi, she did find using period blood a challenging medium. "Menstruation is still a taboo and considered dirty, which is why people were shocked to know about the art despite it being beautiful and powerful,” she grumbles. She hopes the mindset would change soon.
“The period is a natural and biological process. There is nothing to be ashamed of…I didn't cut myself, I didn't kill an animal, so I have not done anything bad; I've just used my period flow as an artistic substance, like oil paints,” she says, responding to critics.
While one may think that the painting would reek of blood, she said a short research informed her that after a few days, it becomes completely odourless.