Creating awareness about the many pressures and obstacles society places upon new mothers is the purpose of this work. Isn't being a new mom supposed to be the most beautiful experience in the world? Isn't it supposed to be the happiest time in a mother’s life? While there's no doubt that giving birth and meeting your baby is one of the most special and amazing times in a woman's life, society’s claim of it being a purely blissful moment is not always true. Often new mothers are faced with many prevalent obstacles such as postpartum depression, harassment when breastfeeding in public, the lack of improvements to parental leave, limited availability of reputable and affordable childcare, etc. These hindrances can especially affect first-time moms, who have just been through the birth process. A process, which is both painful and exhausting, manual not included, and they have just been handed a brand-new fragile baby to take care of. Mothers are not in pure bliss when they have had experiences such as a traumatic birth, difficulty breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, very little or non at all social support at home. This maternal experience of many new mothers has been embodied in a life sized supine figure of a pregnant woman within a pupal insect stage. It has been placed in a natural Arizona setting reflecting the area’s arid and adverse environment. The pupal form has been constructed in part with fabric that has bright colored stripes going in vertical and horizontal directions. The shroud’s blue color represents hope, the orange radiates warmth and happiness, and the purple represents pain. The stripes within the fabric represent the high levels of hormones during pregnancy. These levels are higher than they will ever be at any other time in a woman's life, and after delivery of the baby and the placenta, they plummet. This neurobiological process triggers what is known as the baby blues. Unfortunately, there's societal pressure to feel happy and blissful, immediately after pregnancy so women find it very difficult to talk about the baby blues which if not addressed may lead to postpartum depression. There's enormous guilt and shame some women feel as a result of this experience and as a result women feel alone. Adding a cage like structure surrounding the shrouded pupa will represent these feelings. This cage structure is directly inspired from the cage of the Moths of the Cyana genus, who pupate in a constructed cage woven from the caterpillar's hairs or spines.
Site specific installation, University of Arizona, Campus Farm, facing milking parlor
Steel, circular knit fabric
6 x 5 x 4'