When you get your period chances are your first thought is "Oh help, where are the painkillers" rather than "Great, now I can get started on my art!"
And yet that's the thought process for artist Jen Lewis. Her project “Beauty in Blood” is created with menstrual blood and is devoted to tackling the social stigma attached to periods.
Denver-based Lewis had the idea of using the slow, hypnotic way blood moves in water to create a series of abstract photographs. She began to experiment with blood in her work in 2012, and eventually "Beauty in Blood" was born.
The beautiful results are designed to challenge the existing stigmas and shame associated with women's menstrual cycles.
“I'm even getting messages from people who are really uncomfortable with the images who are thanking me for challenging them. It's really cool,” Lewis told i100.co.uk.
Lewis emphasised that she isn’t making the pictures just for the shock value. “Naturally there are ‘haters’ in the comments section and loads of people write 'Beauty in Blood' off as being 'shock' art or ‘dumb’ and ‘gross’,” she said.
“It’s such a shame they’re not considering why they think that. Who told them menstruation should be hidden and never discussed?”
Lewis said that it generally takes her and her husband about half a day to create each piece. If you want to see their work in action there’s a video here: