This series of  24 drawings (above are 3 examples)  have been produced through close observation of a photograph taken shortly after the birth of my first child. Making these drawings made me consider what my son could have been thinking and experiencing at the time it was taken.

His body is yet to unfurl, arms look tight to the body and constricted as if still in the womb. The baby grow that he is wearing looks too small for his body, but in fact I remember it being too big. Perhaps he feels uneasy wearing these first clothes. The expression on his face is very distinctive, he looks as if he is in pain. Perhaps from the trauma of birth. He might have been in shock after taking his first breaths independently, from hearing the sounds of the world, from feeling the cold on his skin, from being separated from his mothers body.

His skin is red and bruised as if he has been in a fight. His facial expression in the photograph reminded me of Sydney’s grandfather’s when he was close to death. Looking at the image therefore I was drawn to consider the relationship between birth and death, and the fragility of human life.

When my first son was born, I cam remember feeling emotionally overwhelmed and unprepared for the huge responsibility and physical demands of caring for my new born child.

The drawings are fleeting, each produced every two minutes. This rapid production creates a directness, and a pared back use of marks. I wanted this series of drawings to reflect the passage of time. How both monumental and discrete changes to our personal and collective identities are forged from one minute to the next. A child is born, a mother is made.

By analysing this image, through making line drawings, I seek to capture the connection and bond that I felt with my child when he was born.








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