images of bodies, Fall 2008

This is a series of books explores concepts related to the female body.   Three of the four books in this series are listed here.

A note about these books, particularly the first:

On one level it really is a problem to align the female body with the earth.  Metaphors of deforestation and rape are disrespectful and misguided on a multitude of levels; dedication to a recreated feminine earth goddess based upon a collection of indigenous beliefs from around the world misses the concrete power of a specifically located deity and creates instead a reflection of American, mostly white middle class, values and ideas about what nature and wilderness are; placing the female body within the earth takes agency away from actual live female bodies by making them into symbols of the earth rather than as real living people.

But, on the other hand, there is something perversely appropriate about drawing this connection.  We live in an era, especially in America, in which it is no longer possible to say that the neglect and damage we do to the earth on which we depend is accidental or unknowing.  We know, and have known, for some time that our lifestyles are hurting virtually every ecosystem on earth, both human and not.  In a culture where women have been and are neglected, taken for granted, used until they are no longer useful, and assumed to be of infinite capacity to take more (of whatever has been dished out to them), it is fitting that the image of women be connected with the earth which we have taken for granted, used and discarded, and written off.

In making this first book (of which I made two versions), my intention was to recognize the problems with this kind of alignment, and do it anyway, claiming for the female body a natural strength and beauty that is beyond the capacity of any single being.

Restless in her sleep.  This book explores the relationship between the female body and the restless earth.  The woman is both a sleeping human and the unpredictable forces of a planet facing sudden change.

Restless in her sleep. This book explores the relationship between the female body and the restless earth. The figure is both a sleeping woman and the unpredictable forces of a planet facing sudden change. Belgian secret binding.

Again and again and again.  Long-stitch and braid binding.

Again and again and again. Long-stitch and braid binding.

Learning to paint.  This book combines intimacy and erotic love with an exploration of breast surgury.  It is one of several pieces I made shortly after having minor breast surgury.  Long-stitch and braid binding.

Learning to paint. This book combines intimacy and erotic love with an exploration of breast surgery. It is one of several pieces I made shortly after having minor breast surgury. Long-stitch and braid binding.

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