Miss Tampon Liberty, persona of Provincetown artist Jay Critchley, will make an appearance at the Conference on Menstruation UK in St. Andrews, Scotland on May 26, 2023. Her presence will follow Critchley’s keynote address at the conference, “Miss Tampon Liberty – the Toxicity of Capitalism.” The theme of this year’s conference is Menstruation and Sustainability.
Critchley created TACKI, Tampon Applicators Creative Klubs International in 1985, after collecting thousands of plastic tampon applicators washed up on northeast US beaches. TACKI’s mission is to bring attention to plastic pollution in the marine environment, advocate for safe, nontoxic menstrual products, and confront the fossil fuel industry that is producing these products and greenwashing climate change.
“The plastic refuse, collected over decades, including plastic tampon applicators, become a symbol of rapacious pollution in my environmental projects, The government’s fossil fuel subsidies and corporate tax write-offs are the biggest barrier to a clean energy future. The recent US approval of the oil drilling venture in Alaska’s North Slope epitomizes the entrenchment of the industry in the political system despite massive calls for no new drill sites, “ states the artist.
Miss Tampon Liberty, with her gown made of 3,000 gathered “beach whistles”, is TACKI’s global ambassador, taking her message to the Massachusetts State Legislature in Boston to sponsor a bill to “ban the sale of non-biodegradable feminine hygiene products,” in the 1980’s. She also appeared at Liberty State Park for a Freedom for the Environment Rally at the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, and organized a No With The Flow protest at the opening of the 9.5 mil Boston Sewage Outfall Pipe in Cape Cod Bay in 2000.
Miss Tampon Liberty was featured in the documentary Under Wraps, screened at the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Jay Critchley is a longtime resident of Provincetown, Massachusetts and the shifting dunes, landscape and the sea are his palette. He has utilized sand, Christmas trees, fish skins, plastic tampon applicators washed up on beaches, pre-demolition buildings and selected sites in his installations and performances. He is a conceptual and multidisciplinary artist, writer and activist whose work has traversed the globe, showing across the US and in Argentina, Canada, Japan, England, Spain, France, Holland, Ireland, Germany and Columbia. He gave a TEDx Talk entitled: Portrait of the artist as a corporation.
Jay’s artist residencies include: the Santa Fe Art Institute, NM; Fundacion Valparaiso, Mojacar, Andalucia, Spain; CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine, France; Harvest Digital Media Arts Center, NYC; Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry, Ireland; and Harvard University where he has also lectured.
His movie, Toilet Treatments, won an HBO Award and his 2015 survey show at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum traveled to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. He has received awards from the Boston Society of Architects and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC for his environmental projects.
Jay was honored in 2012 by the Massachusetts State Legislature as an artist and founder and director of the Provincetown Community Compact, producer of the Swim for Life, which has raised $6M for AIDS and women’s health and the community.