Nicole Nadeau's nipple tiles are moulded from her breast

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Nicole Nadeau's nipple tiles are moulded from her own breast

New York 2016: US artist Nicole Nadeau has used one of her own breasts to create a mould for a collection of hexagonal tiles complete with pink nipples.

Nadeau created a single mould of her breast to form the tiles, which are cast in ceramic and mounted onto solid-surface material Corian.

Each is painted white apart from the teat, which is coloured in rosy pink.

Nipple tiles exhibition by Nicole Nadeau at New York Design Week 2016

The project relates to the mythical Amazon warriors of ancient Greek, who are said to have cut off one breast to more easily draw a bow and arrow.

Nadeau has tessellated the tiles to create an installation at this year's Collective Design fair in New York, taking place from 4 to 8 May 2016.

Titled Everyone Thought I Was You, the wall-mounted piece comprises honeycomb-like configurations designed to look like patterns found in nature.

Nipple tiles exhibition by Nicole Nadeau at New York Design Week 2016

The artist is a twin, so the artwork is also intended as an exploration into the territory between individuality and similarity.

Although the tiles look identical at first glance, the casting process creates imperfections that make each one subtly unique.

"The idea is that my sister and I are a copy and paste, much like the hexagons in these visual patterns that you see in nature," Nadeau said.

Nipple tiles exhibition by Nicole Nadeau at New York Design Week 2016

Based in New York, Nadeau trained as an industrial designer, and now uses manufactured and natural materials to create installations and sculptures.

"A lot of my work has to do with identity as well as using industrial materials, and I love nature too so that was definitely an inspiration too," she said.

A number of designers have recently tackled the topics of body image and identity. A collection of jewellery that focuses on the "thigh gap", and clothes that highlight features like dry skin and pubic hair are among a variety of projects aiming to tackle the topic.

Nipple tiles exhibition by Nicole Nadeau at New York Design Week 2016

"I do think people are expressing them more in design," said Nadeau. "People have more access to materials, they have access to more fabricators – anyone can be a designer now. The first thing that you want to do is make something that is personal to you."

Nadeau is not alone in having a product moulded from her body. In 2014, supermodel Kate Moss' left breast was used to shape a Champagne coupe for a London restaurant. Silicone nipples act as switches on a series of lights, while Studio Job and Vit have created a lamp called Tit.