What do you see?
A mess, maybe. But to photographer Sarah Anne Ward, these stains run deeper. Her art aims to fill them with politics, pain, and all of menstruation’s cosmic complexities.
Sarah finds periods “FASCINATING” with a capital everything, and her analysis of them might make you feel the same.
“This series was mainly prompted with my struggle to accept PMS,” she says. “Being a feminist, I never wanted to accept these symptoms and often thought PMS was a very Westernized cultural phenomenon or a crutch for womankind…” until she experienced terrible, gut-busting symptoms herself.
That’s where the Rorschach test idea comes in. The (dated) psychological ink blot test is meant to analyze someone’s emotional functioning so doctors can assess our levels of crazy. But these days there’s so much push back against pathologizing and over-medicalizing people’s mental health/emotions, or what Sarah calls “the inevitable physical and emotional changes that some women experience at different times of their cycle.”