Jamie McCartney

Jamie McCartney is an Artist and Sculptor. He created The Great Wall of Vagina, a sculpture using plaster casts of 400 women's genitals.

Why I created The Great Wall of Vagina:

I created The Great Wall of Vagina because in the course of doing another project for a sex museum, discovered that many women have anxiety about their genitals. To the point where many women decide to have surgeries to correct a problem which I didn’t think they had. Through the medium of casting, I thought I could persuade people that whatever you’ve got is normal. I started casting people in 2006 and didn’t finish until 2011, so 5 years of casting women, 400 different women.

I think the reason why I was attracted to doing this concept using sculpture as opposed to another medium, was that taking actual casts from the body means that the replicas are exactly life-size. Which means you can make easy comparisons between each one, which you can’t really do with photographs because they could be any scale. Also, you get much more from a sculpture than you do from a photograph.

Going outside of your comfort zone:

I think the strength of this project is that this isn’t normal, you don’t get to see this normally. You don’t get to see it with your friends. Being in a room with your friends, or with other people, with strangers, looking at women’s genitals isn’t a normal experience for most people. It’s quite a transformative experience, because anything that puts you out of your comfort zone is normally quite helpful in terms of moving you, or shifting some stuff. To begin with, people are a little bit uncomfortable, sometimes they make silly jokes, but that stops after a short while and people really start to look. Then I think they really start to get something out of it, and you see people’s faces change, you see their whole body actually shift. They start to really see what this is all about, and to basically realise that ‘you know what? It doesn’t matter what I look like, I’m going to look like one of these’, and that’s amazing.