2016 – ongoing
breastmilk on mylar
inkjet prints on paper & fabric
After pumping in my studio one of the small containers of breast milk spilled onto my desk covering a page in my sketchbook, a library book and a sheet of Mylar. The residue intrigued me. The milk dried tracing its own movement across the surface. The milk curdled and cracked all while building a collection of organic forms that retained the appearance of a purposeful mark. The slowness of each subsequent spill allowed me the time to question what exactly the breast milk was acting as in these works. My breast milk performed as the material trace of my transition into my new role as mother; beautiful but messy, quiet and calm yet chaotic and unpredictable, and profoundly abstract while similarly rooted in reality. Produced for her. Only for her. Only from me. Breast milk is the material created from an intimate exchange of body to body. Once again two bodies physically connected but this time my body inside of her body. Two bodies engaged in a continuous exchange. Breast milk acts as the invisible ink of a secret dialogue between mother and child, only revealing its materialness when separated from the body. I struggle to decode this exchange as its power fades through language. To try and connect my experience through language does not suffice. This is where the making becomes pivotal. I am not asking my breast milk to perform as anything other than what it is and what it can do: a liquid, a bodily fluid, a watery material. It dries, it curdles, it fractures, it thickens. It transforms from liquid to solid. It is an element of the earth, of nature, of my body. Milkscapes made from the essence of my body now performing as a mother. These Milkscapes, this collection of imagery reflects this process of archiving a routine through its most essential material and highlights the communication between mother and daughter through abstraction. Perhaps it is through this collection of Milkscapes that I can begin to viscerally suggest the abstract nature of motherhood as the unpredictable nature of breast milk as a material exposes and emphasizes the necessity of letting go.