Denise Felkin, Mum's Not the Word
Childless or childfree? Photographs of women who do not have children. I am forty-eight and childfree. I do not want or have never wanted children. I have had a few pregnancy scares in my life. Each time I prayed to the universe it would not happen to me. Thankfully the result always came back negative. I am now nearly too old to reproduce. The wish I made in my younger years is almost true. Occasionally I question myself if I made the right decision? Am I infertile? How would a child have changed my life? How would having a child have affected my career as an artist? Why would I want to bring a child into a world of uncertainty? Mumâ's Not The Word is a photographic project which debates the social stigmatization of why women, whom by choice or for medical reasons, friction against the instinct of childbirth and maternal productivity. The project bring together images of the female form, positioned in the fetus position, in reverse. I choose foetus shaped bodies connect the typologies and to represent divisions of women's experience between the female reproductive system and menopause. I photograph women of an array of ages, skin tones, body shapes, to document the attitude towards the negative position of the fetus within society today. Childless, childfree, women that have been sterilised, childless women who have experienced IVF, professionals and the unknown. I create a series of images representative of the female as a non-producer. The message is a subtle metamorphosis of a new attitude towards the feminine reproductive system and for some womenÂ¬ childbearing not being a foundation of progress. The outcome reveals an unclothed woman in a posture that is easily read as relating to maternity and childbirth. This form will remain singular as opposed to being fertilized / reproduced. The fetus is representational of an intimate and introspective metaphysical investigation. It is a posture that relates to the female as reproducer and acts as a metaphor for the seed within. To personify the image, each subject is to be placed against the backdrop of her own duvet cover adding a uniform approach to the images, when presented as a series. The subject is positioned upon the bed, a place of sexual activity, childbirth and a reverse space of contemplation.