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FAITH-BASED BIRTH: A depiction of the history of birth

(2004) acrylic on canvas 36 x 24


Birth customs reflect whatever culture has faith in at the time. The lower third of this painting depicts buried matriarchal spirituality and culture. The Great Mother, nestled in a pomegranate (a symbol of fertility), represents ancient knowing and compassion. She hears the cries of birthing women even as she is calling to all women—including women who have medical and surgical births. She is holding a large bowl, collecting the tears, amniotic fluid, and blood of birthing women. Buried in the earth and our collective memory are the primordial images of Inanna (Sumer), Venus of Willendorf (France), Mother and child (Peru), Sheela-na-gig (Celtic England/Ireland). the Mexican moon goddess Tiazolteotle, and the Great Mother of Çatal Hûjûk (Turkey). 


The CENTER PANEL shows the Inquisition (1400-1700), when untold thousands of women, including midwives and healers, were tortured, burned alive, or drowned by men of the Church. To survive, women made a tacit agreement to be silent and compliant. Centuries later, having never grieved the first war on women, we are still living in this unconscious agreement at birth. 


The UPPER THIRD of the painting portrays what the dominant Western culture has faith in now: Medical-surgical birth and separation of the baby from its mother. The tiles falling off the wall suggest this trend is unsustainable and will eventually crumble. Originally painted in 2004; Pam touched it up in 2014.


PRINTS:  8.5" x 11"


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