When Nicolino decided not to give Emily Duffy his 20,000 bras,
she sent out an e-mail plea for bras to her friends. Since January
2001, she's received more than 10,000 bras. Black bras stained with
white deoderant, red velvet bras festooned with blace, five-hook
bras built for the well-endowed, training bras, stained nursing
bras, push-up and padded bras.
And people are still sending in bras, including about 2,000 of
one particular Victoria's Secret bra.
The BraBall sculpture is solid bras, except for a "time capsule"
of objects in the center. The capusle includes letters from Duffy's
best friend's husband, who wrote to friends and family describing
his wife's successful battle with breast cancer, paperwork detailing
Duffy's struggle with Nicolino over the idea for the ball and one
of Duffy's bras.
"I started this project with five of my own bras," she
says. "I put one inside the capsule. Then I took a wad of silicon
ironic, isn't it? and glued the straps of one of my
other bras to the outside. From there I started hooking bras together."
Duffy plans to grow her BraBall to 5'4" in diameter
the height of the average American woman.
women, of women, by women, to women: At 3.5 feet and
more than 700 pounds, the ball is at a size where Duffy needs
the help of four women. Three push the ball, while Duffy and
the other hook bras together and attach the chains. Only women
work on the ball. Click the photo to see Duffy stringing bras
of special bras:
About 700 very unusual bras or those that represent many women
are set aside to wrap around the BraBall as the final layer,
"There are very few letters in this huge pile of letters
I've gotten that say, 'I'm sending you my favorite bra. It's
finally dead.' Most of them are letters like, 'You can have
this thing. I spent a fortune on it, and it's never fit right."
the photo to hear Duffy read some of her favorite letters.
and her sculpture, Mammolith. "Using bras as an
art medium something I've been doing for several years
now is a way of disrupting some of the long-standing
taboos surrounding them," says Duffy, a 1993 arts graduate
of the University of California, Berkeley.
Emily Duffy's site.
Francisco Chronicle piece about the BraBall.
photos courtesy of Emily Duffy