An octopus has three hearts

An octopus has three hearts

In this Series, I am symbolically exploring the intense and transformative experience of having children and, the way in which my relationship with myself changed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My intention is to express this in a visually poetic way with images inspired by what I have already and am still processing. “Discovering an octopus has three hearts,” I think, is significant in terms of the theme of this series; becoming a mother challenges you to grow extra hearts which can feel deeply profound and very frightening at the same time. When giving birth our deepest animal instinct awakens and this carries us as mothers. We not only give birth to a baby but also to an unknown part of ourselves. I am further exploring how the mother-child relationship changes over time.
This leads me to include the series which speak of my experience of pregnancy loss. It is so much a part of this journey for so many women in the throes of motherhood and too often gets swept under the carpet because it is difficult to deal with. The two series I included which express this are titled “lost in silence” and “still life”. My miscarriage was referred to as a “silent miscarriage” and I only found out via a sonogram that the baby was not viable. The reference to the word “silence” in the title also links to the fact that during pregnancy women are encouraged not to announce their pregnancies until 12 weeks because most miscarriages occur before then. There is a sense of shame surrounding miscarriage and I feel strongly that this resulting silence must be broken. “Still life” also speaks of the cold reactions that I received from some people when I shared with them that I had had a miscarriage, things were said like: “it was only a few cells” or “you can always try again”. These reactions devalue the life you’ve carried inside of you, and silence the grief that you may be yearning to share.