RESEARCH: "re.conceive" (2021/22)

BOOK CONTRIBUTION: ART OF INFERTILITY...

Working with Art of Infertility on their forthcoming book on Patient Narrative
26/04/2021
Hairpiece II
Hairpiece II
 


Working with the ART of Infertility, an arts-based storytelling project focused on reproductive loss experiences, to contribute my work to their forthcoming book, "The ART of Infertility: An Anthology of Patient Narrative and Art", a curated collection, edited by Maria Novotny, Robin Silbergleid, and Elizabeth Walker.

"Reflecting on my infertility journey, I realised I distanced myself from what I was experiencing. When talking about it I remained very matter of fact, referring only to dates and figures, as allowing myself to think more deeply meant getting emotional and I didn’t have the energy to continually do that. Although I am greatly involved with Art, as a professional artist and lecturer, I didn’t make art specifically about my experience. Art was my world and with Infertility taking over every other part of my life, I felt I couldn’t let it take over my only space of sanctuary, to escape and forget.

I have always made work about female subjectivity, yet I’ve noticed the pieces made during this time were more closely linked to embodiment, with potential infertile overtones. I worked a lot with my own hair which, possibly due the stress I was experiencing, was rapidly falling out. These pieces take direct imprints through print and digital means, exploring the physical qualities inherent in the material itself. I was very interested in its abject nature; a substance that grows from inside the body, transgresses our rigid borders, to link life and death, cleanliness and dirt, beauty and horror. Hair is merchandise in the global marketplace; a material which can be miraculously full of body and vitality, yet mine was lifeless, disconnected and discarded. These pieces were always reminiscent of female reproductive organs, but now I see more readily the layers of entrapment, alongside fragility, the ephemeral nature representative of my own embodied vulnerability at the time. "