Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birth Process


This is a piece I made before my son was born. I may have been pregnant with him, I don't remember for sure.

Childbirth was definitely on my mind, the pressure to reproduce, the spiritual mandate to make a body for a spirit brother or sister to inhabit. And I was fascinated with the many scriptural analogies between spiritual growth and actual pregnancy.
Blood and Water and Born Again...
(Matriarchal imagery in a Patriarchal religion)

For this piece I took an old screen door that I had found dumped out in the desert. I de-constructed it, taking it apart and putting it back together as a bunch of boxes of various sizes. I than began to fill the boxes, stuffing them with egg shells, broken cups (that box is not shown here), pages riped from books and rolled up tight, jars filled with salt and stones. One box is empty, painted stark white inside and then closed off (protected?) by a rusty spikey metal "door" (a large joiner that I found in the ashes of a bonfire, the wood it was joining burned away). I also put in some of the little female fertility icons I had been making out of plaster- little venus-of-willendorf-ish type figures, one with wings (angel? resurrected being?) one surrounded in flowers, almost like a burial.

birth.
death.
blood and sweat and amniotic fluid and baptism
sex and pregnancy.

All compartmentalized in a bunch of boxes.
It was sort of a self-portrait: Searching for spiritual rebirth and conflicted about the roll of motherhood that was expected of me.

9 comments:

Elizabeth-W said...

I'm so glad that we all have different talents. I have zero artistic ability and relish seeing others' works. Thanks for sharing!

Alisa said...

This is an amazing piece (can I wrap it all up together and call it one piece?). It's nice to know some other women have angst about having children.

To your current list I would add the sacrament of the eucharist. The masculine bread, the female chalice, becoming the bride of Christ and taking in His body into our body, taking His name, becoming His property, His blood. Not entirely feminist, I guess, unless we look at it in the sense that all of us, men and women, take on this feminine relation to the Lord.

G said...

thanks elizabeth-w!

beautiful, alisa. I think that symbolism also has a place in this piece. have you read Take This Bread? what you said about the eucharist echo's a lot of the authors feelings and experience.

Jessica said...

G,
Your art is amazing. It really helps me see and feel your anticipation of motherhood.
Where do you have it displayed?

G said...

jessica: "Where do you have it displayed?"
*sigh* in my studio. where I'm the only one who can see it. along with the rest of my art...
*sigh*

In other places we have lived I have displayed my art on the walls /shelves where at least they would be seen by visitors.
but in our current home... I just never got around to putting anything up.

JohnR said...

G, your studio sounds like an inspiring place--I'm assuming this has some equally awe-some companions. And it seems like sharing art like this (even presumably two dimensional art has so much texture that is lost when represented as a flat image) is one area where the blogging medium fails us, except to give us a fleeting taste/glimpse of your creation.

G said...

thanks johnR.
for a good period of time my studio had been a depressing place... the "room I don't go into".
but, just recently, I have been working in there again. just doing little things, crafty things, some portraits for a family member... but it is something. and it helps.

(in that post I just linked to, if you look closely at the upper left hand corner of the photo, you can just see a part of Birth Process on the shelf there. along with piles of art supplies... and junk.)

angryyoungwoman said...

That is so beautiful! The venus of willendorf is one of my favorite pieces/art things. I relate to it and tend to love anything that even brings it to mind--I'm not saying your piece doesn't stand on its own merits, though :)

Almost all of your artwork (that you've posted) just leaves me standing in awe.

G said...

thank, angryyoungwoman.