cover art – poetry & poetics journal.  “Vestal Virgin Vest #1” , which is a collapsed sculpture, stitched with silk and linen, inlaid with gold and copper

In this issue, you’ll find work where writing and bodies intersect, as well as work that asks questions about what it means to be a/some/any body in an increasingly dematerialized world. Speaking on behalf of everyone at Interim, I’m happy to present fierce and fearless work from writers and artists from all over the world. I believe all of the work gathered in this issue answer questions regarding Being by challenging and expanding how the body is understood by those alive in this era. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we do.
Autumn Widdoes, Curator INTERIM 35.2

“Vestal Virgin Vest” (one in a series) is a collapsed, stitched and gold-leafed embossed sculpture. It began as a plaster body cast made over a woman’s torso. Next, I built a paper sculpture inside the imprint of the body cast. Then the sculpture was pressed flat in a printing press and, finally, embossed and stitched. The process  of building and flattening the sculptures represents the collapsing of time; the threads and metal embossing represent shared stories, shared physicality, constrained privilege and silence.

Throughout my career I have been following the theme of virginity—beginning in Greek mythology up to the stories of present day—and how the concept of virginity has or hasn’t changed. The Vestal Virgins have been particularly interesting. The six women’s purity and intactness was believed to secure the political stability of the city and the blessings of the gods. They represented Rome and its values, fears, and faith as well as its patriarchal systems. The Vestals were also members of a group women who “broke the glass ceiling” by having moved from private to public personalities, and were identifiable by their bodies.

I worked on this series while at American Academy in Rome