For BLOOM, Bustamante is working to create the most significant redesign of the vaginal speculum since 1943. Rooted in both research and object-making, the idea for BLOOM came into her mind, fully formed, shortly after a pelvic exam in 2011. “For me the projects that come to fruition are usually those that stick in my head. I call those projects ‘brain burrs.’ It’s a thought that won’t go away and sits there, in some cases, for years,” said Bustamante. “Like many women, I wondered why the medical industry cannot create more comfortable apparatus for such basic procedures. My approach will be both practical and fantastical, probing the history that has led to this over-looked apparatus. I see BLOOM as an investigation of imagination, material and space.” This is a wide-ranging project which will culminate in 2024, with several iterations along the way. BLOOM has particular resonance in light of political attacks on women’s health.