(Click image to enlarge)
Original (12×12 inches): SOLD (To Pam England, author of Birthing From Within)
For more information about the types of printing please go here.
About the piece…
I wanted to do a piece to honor women who have given birth by cesarean. These women are strong mothers who have given much for their children.
Imagery for this piece was very difficult because there are so many different kinds of cesarean experiences, from the traumatic to the tearfully thankful. I asked many cesarean mamas, both friends and members of ICAN (Int’l Cesarean Awareness Network) to share their stories with me and looked for common elements. I decided to focus on the elements of the cesarean itself instead of the reasons and experiences behind it.
I used a three-dimensional approach to have the figure floating above the base representing the strangeness of the anesthesia. Many moms told me how they felt disconnected to their bodies by the drape, the tugging of the procedure, etc. This is why I segmented the figure into thirds where the sterile drape and the incision would be. The belly is exposed to show a shadow of a baby that was just there, the birth had just happened. It is like an echo of a baby.
I set everything on top of a Chartres Labyrinth to symbolize the journey women take to arrive at this place. At the center of the labyrinth there is the shadow of the baby, symbolizing the baby’s experience of the journey as well. Some cesareans are planned, some are not, but every woman has a unique web of experiences and situations that bring her to this birth. Sometimes we know the reasons, sometimes we never know.
The central imagery for this piece came from a friend of mine. She told me about her cesarean and how after her son was born her arms were tied down and she didn’t know what to do. “Kiss him” said the nurse and that was the first interaction she had with her son. This is why I decided to title this piece “First Kiss.”
***Again, I want to stress that this is not *all* cesareans, just a representation of common themes. If you’d like to process your own birth, cesarean or not, through art please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to me about commissioning a piece.