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The way women are given technical information without contextualization, and the way that mothers and babies are still portrayed as simply "pretty in pink," led to the section called Primer. It's a series of twelve acrylic paintings, using "how to" or textbook images from birthing or child-rearing manuals.
Innocuous pastel-coloured imagery
can be seen as a mockery of the real fears and concerns of women giving birth. The images we are surrounded by influence and control us, they tell us how to behave, what we should act or look like; they are social models.
Instead of images of strong mothers, or a multitude of possible ways of mothering, or direct personal stories, or even a choice of philosophies,
we are still being given a meagre diet: scientific information and images of perfect, happy (& skinny, hetero, married) mothers.
We can now study third-person descriptions of what will happen to
our bodies (not us?). We can learn what we must do or not do (and carry the guilt if we stray off-course), what the doctors will, can or must
do to us, and what our limited choices are. We are supposed to accept this nicely, learning our lessons.
But information alone doesn't give
us an in-depth understanding,
a knowledge of what it really means
to have, or not have, a child.
And images that deny or cover up the experience don't allow us the possibility of realising our own strengths or our full potential.
I chose to juxtapose these two deceits - he frilly decoration and
the idea that science can control everything - so that the absurdity of it can be seen.
|(click on thumbnails to see the full image)|
|Conception/ fertility / motherhood art /
art about pregnancy/
childbearing art /
birthing art /
birth stories /
art about mothering / birth / conceiving / conception /
pregnancy / childbearing /
art about birthing /
birth stories /