As if in the Pains Of
Over the years I have had the privilege of watching two births take place and have read books and viewed videos on natural childbirth. I have always explored this issue in the hopes of gaining wisdom into my own birthing experiences and choices. Now, as a response to my infertility, I have decided to understand the course of natural childbirth through art making, placing myself on the floor enacting the raw pain, and the instinct to be on all fours. My aggressive mark making worked to express the emotion and feelings I considered a woman to have while in labor. I moved from a series of five large-scale dramatic floor drawings to agitated, disjuncted body parts for stages of uncontrolled contractions. Moments of rest are in between and the private first bond between mother and child come shortly after. This series was produced while on an art fellowship at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was not prepared for the continual dialogue that this body of work invited. The women in the studio space freely began to share their own birthing stories and the feelings they had and the pain they endured. In some ways I was intrigued to hear and in other ways it made me feel even more on the outside of this community called “motherhood”.