The HBAC Performance Manifesto was written from my personal experience of being pregnant and not given access to a home birth or the birthing centre. Having previously had a caesarean, I was labelled ‘high risk’ and was not being heard. On 4th and 5th November 2018, over 25 hours, I performed the act of giving birth at home with the support of two independent midwives. The birth was documented as an act of everyday life in the domestic space, with cameras set up in my kitchen, my bedroom and my living room. The Manifesto declares my views on birth as an every day performance and Home Birth After Cesarean (HBAC) as being a safe birth.
The Mother of Frankenstein’s Monster (2021) researches the production of bodies and identities in relation to motherhood. ” My children were produced by and within my body”. Production continues after birth: children’s bodies grow and their identities develop. The identity of the mother is also born in relation to the child’s birth. This inquiry revolves around the idea of maternal “split subjectivity” and the child as an “unruly descendant” of the mother. It researches the conjunction of symbiosis and struggles present within a mother-child relationship.
Mother of the Forest is one of the tallest trees in Santa Cruz Park. A symbolic womb at her core forms an 8 x 13 foot room, or a hobbit hole, or a sacred space — depending on your perspective. Trees are a testimony to patience and resilience. They offer shelter, contribute to healthy ecosystems, and fight climate change. Redwoods protect and support each other as well as other sapling growth by creating family circles sprouted from the roots of a parent tree. These families may or may not be genetically related. These lessons in cooperation can be a metaphor for humanity in its current fragmented state.
The term ‘maternal’ has been pulsing through the academic and contemporary art worlds. Contemporary art institutions seek to cultivate it; scholars write about it, and artists who become mothers are confronted by the concept.