Storm in a B Cup: a story of breasts

To create & exhibit a series of artworks which explore, through craft & humour, a complex story of female breasts.

We did it!

On 14th Mar 2017 we successfully raised £1,068 of £1,000 target with 70 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

Yay, we've reached target!!! 

Would be awesome to stretch it ever so slightly, so here's the idea.  I would like a reading area for the exhibition, I have in mind a small collection of books I would like to have available.  I don't have any copies so will need to buy them, so could we stretch the target slightly so I can get these, alongside a couple of pink beanbags (that will be altered to look like breasts) for people to sit and read?

Awesome stuff, cheers,

Rebecca

NEW REWARDS ADDED





Handmade crocheted pink mohair and white cotton fine lacing edge nipple earrings and nipple brooch.   Each sale will see £1 donated to Breast Cancer Care charity.  This item is not included in any of the 'all of the above' pledge combinations.

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Storm in a  B Cup has been simmering away for a few years now and started in 2012 when I was exploring the effects of dramatic weight on the female body, in particular the breasts.  

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Tights as boobs is still used in my work now and has been developed into the artwork the campaign is named after: Storm in a B Cup (below).  60414399b1d4be2dbe2ecb1fa28ca7f86cf0fa10

With your help, I will be putting on an exhibition as part of Art Week Exeter in May and have many great rewards on offer for your support.  

These start at just £1 and I'm very excited by what's on offer, especially the A to Z colouring book (above), developed as a reward for this campaign.  It  includes colouring pages of an about me page, and of course, 26 breast related topic images for you to colour.   Further great rewards include such things as postcards, badges, artworks related to the show and much more.  Of course, there are the all the above rewards (below) which will save you a bit of money by buying combinations.

Hope you enjoy reading through the rest of the project and decide to support his project, it means so much to me, so thank you newly found bosom buddy!

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Hi! My name's Rebecca Harris and since about 1989 (embarrassing teen photo above) I have owned my own breasts, it is these bodily objects I insist on making artworks about.  As a pubescent girl, during the time my physical body lost its gender neutrality, I taught myself to draw, embroider and crochet.  I would also use objects in the garden to create assemblages and then take photos of them; obsessed with how ‘things’ can create other ‘things’.  I found myself, during this time of my body changing and becoming a woman, wanting to create and learn new skills with my hands.  Don’t worry, I still have the ‘misspent youth’ stories too.

My art story doesn’t then go on to say: and the rest, they say, is history; my life took various paths since and only in the last decade I returned to finish my art studies (up to masters degree level).  It is those formative years that were, well, very formative and it is only now I really feel the significance on why I do what I do.

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Reaching the age of 12, almost overnight my mammaries sort of appeared and immediately needed brassiere support, which were (and are) quite uncomfortable and so I refused to wear one, opting for crop tops and baggy t-shirts.  I of course regretted the lack of bra, by the age of 16 I was already failing the pencil test. Then came the bad back, I suffered awful posture as I withdrew my breast into my chest and snuggle my shoulders and back around them to keep them from view.  Puberty is a confusing and strange time; growing from a child to an adult and having visual markers of being a woman constantly brought to your attention through the gaze of others.  Our bodies are certainly not neutral. 

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My breasts (above) are a constant bodily feature, I am often found not aware of, nor thinking about my forearms or the back of my head.  They protrude from my body, they fall under the gaze of others and at certain times of the month they hurt.  I’ve put on weight, lost it and vice-versa and have witnessed so much change in their shape, from plumpness to such a loss of fat that they became just phantasms to their former breasts, like heavy deflated balloons.  With my teenage years, weight gain and pregnancy; that history scarred itself on my breasts, riddled with stretch marks and a shape never to be regained: my skin displays its life story.  

Not just aesthetic objects or causers of bodily aches and pains, I have also fed my children from my breasts.  This is, by far, the plumpest they have ever been and were such an indicator of how fertile my body was, I could hit a target with my milk from a good metre or two away.  I have always found it fascinating how awkward, and at the worse repulsed, others are of breastfeeding.  Even the more open minded and accepting of us would find the idea of drinking another woman’s breast milk quite sickening, yet we happily consume other animals’ breastmilk by the gallon.  

My interest in breasts doesn’t just lie within my own narcissistic fan/hate club of my own, I also appreciate the aesthetics of breasts of other women, and am fascinated by all the shapes, colours and sizes these come as.  I think we would be lying to ourselves, straight, gay, male or female that breasts are not something we look at.  From this fascination, I keep wanting to make artworks about them and it is the experiences that inform my ideas.

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Two years ago I was working on a embroidery commission for the Eden Project exhibition Invisible You, funded through the Wellcome Trust, a work that gained international attention.  This wasn’t because it was for a new permanent exhibition at the world renowned attraction, nor because the piece was in collaboration with a professor of microbiology which saw me hand stitching thousands and thousands of hand embroidered French knots to present the diverse community of microbes that live on and within our bodies, no.  This was because the figure had nipples, not just any nipples though, female nipples.  Social media giant, Facebook rejected my advert containing the image, due to being ‘overly sexual’, ‘promoting pornagraphic content’ etc, because the figure had breasts - sending the news story global.
40366627f5804a60b58067448e4f6772a02b9bedThis was no David and Goliath story, Goliath won and they win time and time again against the female nipple.  This is not, by far, an isolated case.  Online, there continues to be such ridiculous rules: we have daily exposure to very sexual images, beheading videos and other violent images and videos; yet a woman breastfeeding, a scientific image of a pregnant woman is not acceptable.  It is this that has made my interest in breasts grow (no pun intended).

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I first started making artworks on the female breast in 2012 when I was due to undergo weight loss surgery (later cancelled).  I was exploring the effects dramatic weight loss would have on the female body.  Life Sucks (above) literally uses tights to represent how breasts might look after their fat is removed or time has taken its toll.  

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These pieces, which I still explore now, are also about the metaphorical consumption of women, being drunk from and drained.  In 2016 I took the idea further with the eponymously titled Storm in a B Cup work (above), where women and their bodies are objectified; commenting on this by representing their breasts as cups, something to be drunk from, held, owned and also as in how we are measured, literally.  Furthermore, it is also a commentary on how the whole issue about our cautious and prudish nature towards female breasts are all a bit of a storm in a teacup.

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Storm in a B Cup: a story of breasts is a body of work which explores the complex and multifaceted story of the female human mammaries.  

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We obsess, fetishise, shame, ridicule, stigmatise, enlarge, shrink and desire these both functional and sexual areas of the female body.  Drawing on humour, the body and textiles; the show aims to find its story and start a conversation with yours.

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In May 2017, as part of Art Week Exeter (AWE) the artworks will go on show at the EVA exhibition space in Exeter, United Kingdom.  The show will also aim to tour and enquiries can be made by emailing me.  Of course, if you cannot make the exhibition, don't worry, I will be making a video of the show and this will be exclusively available to my backers.
6c0a8f106e3b3c70cffe7b7fe92a06166e516f88Containing a variety of works exploring the complex story of breasts, such pieces as already mentioned will be included.  Further works are currently being developed exclusively for the show and include crocheted breasts Domestitty (above), large scale hand embroideries, drawings and other sculptural textiles.  I will use this page to continue to share updates on how the works are developing.

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When talking to others about the ideas for this show, there has been mixed reactions, mainly a little reserved and shocked.  I also feel quite vulnerable exposing myself as an artist within this theme, and find myself hiding my work as I sit on the bus crocheting nipples, feeling embarrassed and ashamed.  Furthermore, I work part time at a local college and this exhibition could question my future there!  However, I feel it too important to not work on this and it is through these reactions that give me the impetus to carry on and make this happen!

As I develop the artworks for the exhibition I will also be using this page to add update of those works in progress.  I'm really excited by sharing this stage with you and hope you enjoy watching those bosoms blossom!

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This work will also form a crucial period of my development as an artist to explore the affective potential of textiles within my practice.  Using this show as a research and development project, I will explore how craft, touch, familiarity of textiles impacts on the extent to which an audience engages with art and the themes presented.  If you are interested, or want to be involved, in this research then please do get in touch.

I am currently applying for Arts Council funding for this area of the project and your crowdfunding here supports my application, so thank you.

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I am very excited about the rewards on offer  and in particular the colouring book which has taken on a bit of a life of its own and through this campaign I would like to produce at least 100 of the books.  Taking many weeks to develop and produce, the book fits beautifully with the theme of the exhibition.  Further great offers in return for your support include having your topless selfie immortalised into a colouring page, artworks relating to the show and much more.

Rewards start at just £1 and all your support helps make this happen, so thank you so much.

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Thank you, every little helps, you will be listed as a supporter on my website and receive exclusive email updates (this applies to all the other awards too).

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I will send you a randomly selected postcard (related to the colouring book or exhibition) with a personal thank you on there.

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A selection of three postcards (related to the colouring book or exhibition), left blank for you to use plus an exclusive Storm in a B Cup badge.

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Direct to your inbox receive these 6 colouring sheets to print off, containing six letters to spell the word BREASTS!

A handmade crocheted pink mohair and white cotton fine lacing edge pair of nipple earrings.  Each sale will see £1 donated to Breast Cancer Care charity.  This item is not included in any of the 'all of the above' pledge combinations.

A handmade crocheted pink mohair and white cotton fine lacing edge.  Each sale will see £1 donated to Breast Cancer Care charity.  This item is not included in any of the 'all of the above' pledge combinations.

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Screen-printed tote bag, dimensions are 380mm wide x 410mm high.

A Story of Breasts: A to Z adult colouring book is aimed at an adult audience with an open mind and a sense of humour.  Breasts present a complex and multifaceted story and through this book I hope to touch on some of those areas. Consider it like a visual essay, with each image presenting its chapter within a wider narrative.  You will also be supporting Breast Cancer Care as 10% of all book sales will be donated directly to the charity.

Image contents:

About me
A is for St Agatha
B is for breastfeeding
C is for cancer
D is for milk ducts
E is for enlargement
F is for Free the Nipple
G is for gravity
H is for handful
I is for invention
J is for jogging partners
K is for Kim Kardashian
L is for little-uns
M is for mastectomy tattoo
N is for nudity?
O is for objectification
P is for pearl necklace
Q is for Queen has tits
R is for reduction
S is for self-examination
T is for nipple tassels
U is for underwired bras
V is for vintage
W is for words
X is for X-Videos
Y is for YouTube

Note: some crowdfunding colouring books charge you a lot more than the retail price to receive a signed copy, but not here. Your colouring book will come signed at no extra cost.

An A4 first edition perfect bound signed colouring book containing 27 images for you to colour on single sided pages.

Not one, but two signed colouring books, maybe one for you and one as a gift?  Save yourself £5 by ordering two at the same time! 

Save £9 and receive the thank you postcard, pack of postcards, badge, tote bag and a signed colouring book.

Choose your own print from the A to Z collection and I will personally hand colour it for you.

Save £14 and receive the thank you postcard, pack of postcards, badge, tote bag, hand coloured print and a  signed colouring book.

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For just £60 you can be immortalised as a colouring page, just send me your topless selfie and I will turn this into a hand drawn colouring page, sent to you as PDF to print and colour, time and time again.

Save £19 and receive the thank you postcard, pack of postcards, badge, tote bag, hand coloured print, you as a colouring sheet and a  signed colouring book.

Made to order, you select your shade of tights and the type of breast saggage - presented within an eight inch embroidery hoop.

Made to order, you select your doily pattern, shade of skin and nipple tone - presented in a 7 inch white box frame.

Save £29 and receive the thank you postcard, pack of postcards, badge, tote bag, hand coloured print, you as a colouring sheet, Life Sucks, Domestitty and a signed colouring book.

Your very own personal commission, your very own artwork.  We discuss your relationship with your breasts, and related to the works for the show, we come up with a commission that is exclusively your story.  Plus, all the above: thank you postcard, pack of postcards, badge, tote bag, hand coloured print, you as a colouring sheet, Life Sucks, Domestitty and a signed colouring book.

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Further support for this campaign comes from Art Week Exeter, as a exhibitor, for the city wide event, we receive the equivalent of £6,000 in promotional support.  This is from their printed and social media campaign to promote those involved in AWE and I hope it is encouraging to know that the exhibition will be well advertised.

A breakdown of costs

Rewards fulfilment

colouring books £140
postcards £110
bags £125
badges £25
p&p £220

TOTAL £620

Exhibition costs

space hire £200
promotional printing £40
PV £20

TOTAL £260

Crowdfunding fees

Crowdfunder.co.uk (5%) £50
card transactions (4%) £40

TOTAL £90

Materials

TOTAL £30

OVERALL TOTAL £1,000

Remember, this is a all or nothing campaign, if the target isn't reached then a penny isn't passed on.  This would be a really shame, in fact, quite crushing to see happen and I really hope you don't want to see this either, so please support in any way you can, thank you.

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I will keep you updated here with how the project is progressing and expected delivery dates, providing there are no hiccups along the way here is an outline of expected timings:

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Thank you for taking the time to read through my crowd funding campaign, I hope there's something you can find in return for your support.  Every little helps and thank you for whatever it is you can offer.  Remember, just sharing this page is a super help too, let's get this story out there!

Your support energizes, this isn't  just about the money, it's much more than that, it sends out a message that you support this and believe in it.  You believe that breasts are important, that breasts need to be talked about and that breasts are wonderful enchanting things.  So a very big thank you and in return for your support I hope you find some great rewards .

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