“Come Dancing is a dramatic ball gown decorated with over 6,000 multicoloured, foil covered oral contraceptives trapped in tiny net pockets, rather than appliquéd with sequins. At the waist, where a jewel clasp would be more appropriate, is a Lippes Loop, removed from a teacher for whom it had provided intrauterine contraception for 26 years, an equivalent period to that provided by the gown’s thousands of pills.
“The work resulted from consultations with patients about contraception, during which Dr Lee observed that, despite lacking a visual image of an interuterine contraceptive device, many women had such strong emotional feelings about the coil that they were unable to discuss its use rationally. In contrast, women choosing oral contraception were unlikely to realise the quantity of pills they would have to take over many years. By showing a Lippes Loop alongside the number of pills required to provide equivalent contraception, Come Dancing neatly reveals two previously hidden pieces of information, and helps to inform women about their preferred contraceptive method.”
Colin Martin, The Lancet
Photo: The Wellcome Trust1998