Photographer Bex Day’s Bewitching Celebration of the Vulva

Photographer Bex Day's Bewitching Celebration of the Vulva

Bex Day announces her latest photographic series – PETAL, debuting with a solo exhibition at Have A Butchers and the launch of her first photographic book. Celebrating the uniqueness of the vulva, Day’s new works seek to subvert the status quo, challenging the patriarchal narratives enveloping the genitalia.

Made up of over 70 images, Day’s newest collection demystifies the experience and the reality of what it is to own a vulva in society as we know it. With fearless and refreshing sincerity, Day champions realistic representation and platforms models of all different backgrounds, shapes, races, genders, and ages – inviting her audience to take an up close and personal look at what makes every vulva simultaneously unique and homogenous, and importantly – something to be celebrated.

Photographer Bex Day's Bewitching Celebration of the Vulva

Every vulva pictured in the collection is covered, to varying degrees, by a single flower or petal that is in some way representative or holds a particular sense of significance to the individual. Each image is then accompanied by a written account from the subject, detailing their own feelings and experiences of their body: deeply personal stories of love, loss, pleasure, pain, survival, rebirth and reclamation.

Challenging these rigid beauty ideals has always been the focus of my work, and PETAL felt like the right, natural progression. I wanted to subvert standardized beauty by focusing on the uniqueness of the vulva and celebrating the similarities and differences they share.” By combining in-your-face anatomy with organic and innate beauty in an almost dream-like state, PETAL intelligently up-roots rigid beauty ideals – offering up exquisitely intimate, raw and sensitive images, designed to empower both their subject and their viewer.

Photographer Bex Day's Bewitching Celebration of the Vulva
BEX DAY PETAL Book Interior

Dominating the viewers’ gaze at every opportunity, Day’s photographic series challenges the misconception of what is considered a ‘normal’ vagina, which has long been reinforced by cultural censorship, type-casting in porn, and portrayals in mainstream media.

Focusing on both subjectivity and unity, PETAL works to undercut phallocentric conditioning by offering an opportunity to truly admire the many versions of ‘the origins of the world’. For too long, colloquial terms for the vagina, including ‘pussy’, ‘cunt’, and ‘gash’, have all been adopted as negatives in the English language, perpetuating the idea that the vagina is lesser than the penis. Drawing on author and poet Audre Lorde’s definition of the erotic as a ‘resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane’, Day embraces and reclaims the political and creative potential of this instinctive sense of self – providing a fresh, untamable perspective that works to captivate its viewer while embedding itself into the wider societal narratives.

Photographer Bex Day's Bewitching Celebration of the Vulva
BEX DAY PETAL Book Interior

Day reflects, “Whether it’s down to a lack of education or the influence of porn – I was keen to hear from each subject how they viewed their genitalia and what it’s like being a womxn in this day and age. How does porn and media impact how we view our genitalia? Why are we taught as children to sensor the female anatomy, and why are the slang names suddenly become negative swear words? Why do we as womxn have to battle to be seen? These are all the questions I wanted to answer through PETAL.”

PETAL is a daring and bewitching addition to Day’s already impressive repertoire of boundary pushing and thought provoking projects that sets about rewriting the narrative and plays havoc with modern day paradigms about the vulva.

Day has previously exhibited her work at Herrick Gallery with her first solo show Hen in 2019, and at Offshoot Gallery London with her last series and film Children of Covid. She’s hosted talks at the Royal Photographic Society, The British Journal of Photography, and It’s Nice That. Day has also been shortlisted for British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Humanity award, Wolf Suschitzky Prize and was an Agents Award Winner.

Bex Day: PETAL
Limited edition of 500 copies.
Each limited edition book ordered from here will be signed by Bex Day.
Cloth bound cover, hardback
20 × 25 cm | 7.8 × 9.8 in
176 pages
Foreword by Natalie Lee

©2024 BEX DAY