'Like a Virgin' (1994) is an ink etching of a cockroach, a creature commonly associated with squalor and filth. Closer inspection of the inspect reveals resemblance to the male phallus, which is normally associated with sexual virility and dominance yet here relegated to the level of a mere bug. The paper has been lightly embossed with the outline of a vagina, in which the cockroach has been strategically placed in the centre as if upon entry. The title 'Like a Virgin' comes from the notion that female cockroaches do not need a mate to reproduce, hence experiencing virgin birth and devoid of the threat of extinction.
Works from the Estate, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK, 2013.
Leonie O'Dwyer, Helen Chadwick: a critical catalogue raisonné, Leeds 2012 (illustrated, no. 163).