As if in the Pains Of
Over the years I have had the privilege of watching two births take place and have read books and viewed videos on natural childbirth. I have always explored this issue in the hopes of gaining wisdom into my own birthing experiences and choices. Now, as a response to my infertility, I have decided to understand the course of natural childbirth through art making, placing myself on the floor enacting the raw pain, and the instinct to be on all fours. My aggressive mark making worked to express the emotion and feelings I considered a woman to have while in labor. I moved from a series of five large-scale dramatic floor drawings to agitated, disjuncted body parts for stages of uncontrolled contractions. Moments of rest are in between and the private first bond between mother and child come shortly after. This series was produced while on an art fellowship at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Rachael Van Dyke received her MAE from Kendall College of Art and Design. She has taught K-12th grade art for 13 years and as an adjunct lecturer at the College for Creative Studies. She is the recipient of four fellowships including the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, Les Tapies Art Teacher Fellowship in France, TICA with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Le Pays’ Art Residency at Le Jardin Botanique in Marnay-sur- Seine, France. Van Dyke exhibits her figurative work and abstract landscapes throughout Michigan and is represented by the Ann Arbor Art Center, The Artisan’s Bench in Brighton, MI, LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids and Douglas, MI and Sleeping Bear Gallery in Empire, MI