84″ h x 84″ w x 24″d
The idea for the Kevlar® Kimono originally came to me in 1998, when some anti-abortion protesters were becoming extremely radicalized. I bought two yards of Kevlar®, intending to make a bulletproof garment in which a woman could safely make her own reproductive decisions.
During the 2012 election season – as the rhetoric about birth control, rape and abortion became increasingly hostile towards women – I felt compelled to speak out. I wrote about my own reproductive experiences in Flagstaff Live!.
The morning after my essay was published, I dreamed about finally making the Kevlar® kimono, and understood that rather than illustrating my story, it would be emblematic of the number and range of personal stories about reproductive decisions, which both women and men had begun sharing with me.
Historically, kimonos are unisex garments, worn by both women and men, with slight stylistic differences. The blue of the kimono and the overpanel is the same hue that was used in Renaissance paintings of the Virgin Mary, symbolizing purity in the lexicon of the Catholic Church.
In each square, a unique collage in shades of grey surrounds a photograph of someone who believes in reproductive choice. These collages illustrate the breadth of the history, beliefs and situations of individuals faced with a decision. Nothing is black and white in this situation.
The Kevlar Kimono is dedicated to all the women and men working on the front lines of the fight to keep birth control available, and abortion safe and legal, so that women can make their own, very personal, reproductive choices.
Learn more about the project at kevlarkimonoproject.com
This piece was awarded the Surface Design Association’s Award of Excellence at the Explorations exhibit at the Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona in 2015.