Avatãra (In progress)
Avatãra is a personal series about my pregnancy, birth and beyond with my second child. She was conceived after I experienced several miscarriages which was also exacerbated due to the pandemic. Miscarriage is a very specific kind of loss. You connect with a soul and lose them again without actually meeting them. Their essence felt tangible yet I could never physically feel them. An awareness grew in me of this other worldly aspect of bringing children into this world, a connection to this “other” realm. By creating this series I felt that I was honouring this soul whilst knowing that the trauma of the miscarriages left me feeling unsure if the pregnancy would be successful. It was a way for me to process the enormity of feelings that goes with pregnancy especially after experiencing loss and being faced with a pandemic. Furthermore I am exploring my experience of motherhood after her birth and using this series to bring more awareness to this intangible realm. Noticing moments, and subtle signs in everyday life throughout her and my sons lives, and expressing it symbolically throughout this series. I feel that it has and is helping me to navigate motherhood and all the highs and lows that it comes with.
I was preparing for my second child to enter into this world during the pandemic. Being pregnant during the pandemic I felt bombarded by how vulnerable I was as a pregnant woman to this virus. Many pregnant women and their babies died during the third wave. I wanted to cocoon myself, my baby and my first born and yet I felt so incapable of protecting us. This was exasperated by the fact that I have suffered miscarriages before, even though I logically understood that it was not my fault. I was also emotionally holding the space for my son to prepare for becoming a big brother. My connection to this baby, to this soul that was about to enter our lives was the one thing that helped me hold it together, and it was also the one thing I was terrified of losing.
Lily in (breast) milk
After I experienced miscarriages I was at a loss and not sure if we should have more children. Then I had a dream that I was giving birth to a baby girl. A few months later I was pregnant with my daughter. When I planned this photoshoot I was intuitively drawn to the lily as I felt it symbolised something of my daughters essence. A few months later my landscaper (who only met my daughter once) surprised me with flowers for my garden, she said she felt it was my daughter’s flowers as they made her think her. I was quite emotional when I discovered it was also lilies.
Avatãra, 2021. Self portrait
Cocoon, 2021. Self portrait with my son.
Tree of life I, 2021
Anouk and her placenta, 2021
Lilly in breast milk
Anouk 9 months old, 2022.