A Womb With A View (AWAV) is a tactile, textile post-punk cylindrical sculpture and accompanying ambient soundscape that featured in the Shoddy exhibition. Made by artists Gemma Nash (sound) and Jenny Byrant (textile), this multisensory piece is a creative response to growth attenuation treatment, gender identity and reproductive rights.
The piece was initially sparked by the controversial ‘Ashley X‘ case, and explores the continuing ‘shoddy’ treatment disabled people face from the medical profession and wider outside world.
Funny, hopeful and at times heart wrenching, the piece features spoken narratives from disabled activists, artists and academics, such as Dennis Queen, Adele Georgina Hoskison-Clark, Kate Caryer and Lyn Levett.
Using rehashed sound and recycled fabrics, AWAV challenges the assumptions that disabled people – and their reproductive systems – are second-rate and need fixing. The patterns and structure in textile are very similar to the arrangements found in sound. Bryant has used these patterns and structures to interpret Nash’s fragmented but elegant ambient composition.
Visitors were encouraged to listen to the soundscape whilst looking at and/or feeling the vibrant womb-like sculpture. When visitors lose focus on the separate sensory elements, they are able to enjoy it as a whole, creating an interesting and profound experience.
You can listen to the powerful soundtrack at https://soundcloud.com/gemma-nash-2/a-womb-with-a-view-curated-by-gemma-nash