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This Woman Is Using Her Own Period Blood To Create Beautiful Photographs

Jen Lewis told BuzzFeed News she is interested in "normalizing the menstruation process" through her project.

Posted on May 10, 2015, at 1:49 p.m. ET

Look at this photograph. Can you tell what was used to make it?

What about this one? It has to be some sort of paint, right?

Believe it or not, all of these photographs were created using a woman's menstrual blood.

The artist, Jen Lewis, has used her period blood to create an entire art project called "Beauty in Blood." Her husband Rob Lewis takes the images.

Jack Wolberg, I Live in Beauty

Lewis told BuzzFeed News that she studied history of art in college, and was working at biomedical facility at the University of Michigan when she came up with the project.

She said she had the idea after she switched to using a menstrual cup.

One day, she said, she was in the bathroom when the blood flow caught her eye.

"I noticed the blood, the menstrual fluid had a lot of similarities to paint," she said.

Lewis said the more she looked at the flow, she saw different patterns – in the vein of a Jackson Pollack painting. "I got really interested in the abstract qualities," she said.

Lewis and her husband first created the images in the bathroom. But they later switched to creating them in a fish tank.

She said they also have experimented with other ways to created the images, including using snow.

"Every time we do a shoot there is definitely experimentation and growth," she said.

Lewis's goal for the project is "normalizing the menstruation process" and showing that it can be beautiful.

Lewis said that she hopes people admire the photographs for their beauty before they realize what they are.

"I wanted to create something interesting to draw people in to look before they knew what it was," she said.

The project grabbed attention this week after it was featured in the Huffington Post.

Photographer: Robert Lewis

Lewis said she has experienced some negativity, but only in the comments section of a few articles.

"When it comes to human dialogue, the response has been very good," she said.

She said she is very grateful for the kindness her project has received. "This has been really overwhelming and really positive," she said.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.