Invasive Fertility

This series of female forms enveloping wild flora and fauna was a response to conflicting feelings about having children and contributing to an already strained environment. While reproduction is one of the natural parts of our existence, I couldn’t help but feel like an invasive species. 

Within a few generations, we have profoundly accelerated the rate at which we and other species – knotweed, lionfish, spotted lantern flies, European starlings, and more – move across oceans, continents, and ecosystems. As life adapts, defining what is invasive has become increasingly elusive.

With each of my pregnancies, I was increasingly drawn to pelvis bones conceptually as portals or doorways through which life in all its forms passes through. Any specific moment is a snapshot of what species have been convened to vie for space. 

I had only started making preliminary paintings of pelvis bones when a friend brought his young daughter for a studio visit. She asked why I was painting bones. An intuitive response slipped out of my mouth, surprising both of us: ‘Because they’re magic. This is a female pelvic bone. Every human being who ever existed and every one that ever will is cradled in this vessel. It’s life’s first home. And this opening? That’s the doorway to life on this side. This bone is an unimaginably powerful thing, and you have one. That must make you unimaginably powerful.’

The Invasive Fertility series soon followed, a fantastical, layered representation of the power of bringing life forward into a crowded landscape of competing species.

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