L+D: Changing the way we view birth

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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In 2011, I gave birth to my son, August. The experience profoundly impacted me and became the inspiration for my series of self-portrait paintings, L+D. A dramatized narrative of my labor and delivery, L+D is also an abbreviation for Life + Death, Love + Devotion, Loss + Damage, and Light + Dark. In birth, all of these juxtapositions exist simultaneously. While almost always depicted and described as “beautiful” and “natural," the actual process of labor and delivery can be anything but. In my case, it was a horror show. L+D focuses on birth trauma - laying bare the gore, pain and violence involved in bringing new life into the world. Throughout the process of conceiving and carrying a child, selfhood and autonomy are strained and stretched, culminating in the cutting of the umbilical cord. Through the lens of birth I explore the horror of abjection, the breakdown between self and other.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Birth
  • Birth Trauma
  • Birth Art
  • Feminism
  • Medicalized Birth
  • Induced Birth
  • Hospital Birth
  • Figureative Painting


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