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Where do babies come from?

Video of Biennale Exhibition, “Where do babies come from?”

Expecting

polyester resin with clock 32x22x15cm

Three Pregnant Bellies

90x15x25cm plaster of Paris

An Oscar for my daughter, the surrogate

polished bronze, 37x19x16cm

In 2014 my daughter Tamar, mother of 4 young children, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and handed her

over to her genetic parents. A couple of years earlier, she had decided, together with her husband, to carry a child for a childless couple who could conceive but could not carry an embryo to term. Through her doctor friend, she found a suitable young man and woman, and had their fetus implanted in her uterus. She (wisely) only shared this with us, her parents, after it was a fait accompli.
We were speechless at first, but since then have been bursting with pride, as we observed her injecting herself daily for 6 weeks so that her uterus would not reject the foreign body in it; attending meetings with lawyers, social workers, court officials, rabbis, psychologists, etc., and at term handing over this miracle gift and then quietly continuing with her own life.
I produced this sculpture as a take on Oscar awards for the film industry. My daughter was touched to receive it from me, and keeps her cast in her bedroom. I am happy to be reminded by this sculpture of Tamar’s selfless gift of life.

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My daughter the surrogate

collage, graphite 37x52cm

My surrogate daughter Tamar, baby Tamar 37x52cm. [collage, graphite]

Pregnancy diptych

inkjet print, 75x90cm

pregnancy-diptych-300dpi

This work creates an abstraction, a play on the pregnant female shape and a butterfly image

in the negative space. It’s a puzzle which invites the viewer to consider: what is depicted? One woman or two? But how could they be so exactly alike? The piece shines a light on advanced pregnancy, the roundness and fullness of the fruitful female body. The woman is anonymous, proud, strong; representing all birthing women, an earth mother.
The symmetry and play of negative and positive space attracts the eye and connects with Rorschach inkblot psychology tests, while the brightness of the pink and the strong light create an upbeat pattern.
Be Fruitful and Multiply is a commandment from the Bible (Genesis I: 28) to Adam and Eve, to create the next generation. Nowadays, populations in the Western world are barely replacing themselves, and frequently have to import labour from poor, third world nations. This phenomenon generates sociological and political issues for both the host countries and for the gastarbeiter. Pregnant women are no longer a common sight and this image could be regarded as a political statement, a call to action, a reminder, a warning.

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Be fruitful and multiply

papier mache, paper, gold leaf, paint 110x180x3cm

This work, depicting female reproductive organs, is inspired by the exhortation in Genesis 1: 28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”

Pregnancy triptych

video art 55 seconds

Pregnancy and childbirth are such commonplace events, yet a pregnant belly is unfamiliar. When exposed and studied, focused on, it resembles an alien creature, as if it were an independent living organism, breathing and moving, with visible blood vessels riddling the surface of the taut skin. In my video, I mean to force the focus onto the actual belly housing the growing fetus, the belly which is of course connected to, but identifiably separate from, the adjacent parts of the woman’s body.I have produced the work as a triptych, both to offer 3 viewpoints at one time, but also to imply, in line with traditional Western iconography associated with triptychs, that bearing and raising children is holy and admirable work.

Single Woman

animation video, 4 minutes 6 seconds

Gay Couple

animation video, 3 minutes 28 seconds

Gay Father to 3 Kids

animation video, 2 minutes 18 seconds

Lesbian Couple

animation video, 4 minutes 28 seconds