October 25, 2022
Embarking on this project has been one that I’ve slowly opened up to. For months of last year I dedicated my personal photography work to photographing and editorializing menstruation. I learned through the year what it was like to re-experience a menstrual cycle after years of absence.
I spoke with many women, hosted them in my home, heard their point of view, gathered inspiration, researched countless feminist menstruation artists, all in an effort to take a deep dive into the world of bleeding.
It only seems fitting that now, with this shift in my world of harboring a little human in my womb, I enter into the conversation of pregnancy.
To say I’m walking blindly into this would be correct. I don’t think anyone, let alone those expecting their first baby, know exactly what to expect.
…curiosity for what calls to me, curiosity in what surprises me, curiosity in what hurts, and what heals.
As in all projects, there is a variety of options when choosing how to define a project, and which route you’ll take. So I’d like to address the perimeters of this project: what it is and what it is not.
And most of all, this project does not have the adequate amount of time, nor does it come from the right source, to honor important and current conversations of infertility, miscarriage, and other extremely important topics.
This is the issue I want to address the most, and it is hard for me to do so. At the core of my artistry, I believe that the artist needs to understand what they are contributing to the current conversation. The message they are portraying, the accusations and generalizations they make, and that they owe it to themselves and the audience to be authentic.
The depth of infertility and miscarriage, endometriosis, PCOS, ectopic pregnancies, etc, deserve more than a haphazard, leftover and merely inclusive thought. To add one or two images in the gallery that mention infertility or miscarriage is a token act of mere inclusion that lacks adequate respect. These each deserve their OWN project and dedication. One that I cannot do justice in 3 months, but projects that I hope to work on in the future. Time here, is the enemy.
Second, some artists are wonderful at purely documenting and portraying others’ stories. Knowing my own strengths and weaknesses, I cannot. Emotion and experience infuses everything I create, consciously and subconsciously. I need to be in the thick of these experiences in order to stand by my work; I need to know the emotion of infertility and miscarriage, to be feeling it, in order to identify what that emotion is. Regret would be the result if I created naïve imagery on a topic I know nothing about, only to rediscover years later how empty my voice was in a room of knowledgable people. I owe it to you to be an insider, and not an outsider throwing assumptions.
Lastly, there is my own ability of what I can and can’t do at this moment in my life. With all the emotions of working on a culminating project, I am struggling with the balancing act of gathering courage to put shoots together, finding the endurance for this project ahead, and battling the anxiety of a quickly filling calendar. I ask for patience as I discover this wild time of my life, and I claim the right to pursue the project calling to me, curating imagery as I’ve always done.
As I go through the four trimesters of pregnancy, I expect my opinions, actions, thoughts and imagery to change. I welcome that unraveling and see it as a grand journey!
I am open to hearing the range of emotions, the range of sadness and happiness, and want to encourage everyone to do what feels right for them. If detaching from this project is what your heart and head need to do, I invite you to listen.