Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Childbirth Journey from Notan Press

Childbirth Journey, created in 1985, represents a turning point in my work. After eight years of serious work with calligraphy, I was struggling to make the transition from interpretive work to something that was completely my own. I turned to my own experiences and began the series to come to terms with my first pregnancy, the death of my mother, the disappointment of a Cesarean, and the wonder of new life. There were fifteen pastel gesture drawings with an accompanying text drawn from my journal in calligraphy.

I exhibited the series when my son was almost a year old and had mixed feelings about whether it belonged on the wall. In the context of an exhibit within a finite time period and in a specific space, it worked. You entered the gallery to see Childbirth Journey (although those who wandered in off the street of our coastal city expecting to see seascapes were surprised). After the exhibit, I couldn’t picture them hanging on the wall of my or anyone else’s home. The content was too specific and personal to be viewed on a daily basis.

I translated the pastel drawings into a portfolio of 8.5 x 11 black and white offset prints. The text was again in calligraphy and the images created with charcoal drawings and manipulated photocopies of natural materials.

Childbirth Journey

The work from Notan Press is offered for free under the Creative Commons license.

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