Mixed Media on Paper

ONE WEEK LEFT

1996

My own body impression, one week before giving birth, mixed media on paper. 11 pieces. Photos by Grimanesa Amorós Studio

Dimensions: 40″ x 38″ (not framed)

ARTIST STATEMENT (English / Espanol)

In One Week Left, I explore my own curiosity about the feelings of change involved in pregnancy. It was made with the idea in mind that it is as much the fusion of two lives into one as it is the creation of new life, and that both of those processes is a painful transformation. The pregnant female form is fraught with meaning. It is an object of both peculiar beauty and stark utility, both of which arise from a great rending of the body.

The work was made from impressions of my body one week before I was due to give birth to my daughter, Shammiel. At this point I had grown very large and, with the strain of this swelling, became very sensitive to touch. The application of the paint to the surface takes a good deal of pressure and I experienced this force on my body. The difficulty of this process infuses the visual forms created with the sensations of pregnancy. It connects biological creation with artistic creation.

Some of the images stretch and elongate the familiar form of the pregnant body, evoking the pain of the reshaping that the body undergoes. Others show separated pieces of the body, floating independently of each other. This evokes the mechanistic approach of medical science to physical processes, where the body becomes a vessel or a conduit.