postpartum glory body

i have been creating performance pieces in absentia for an upcoming alumni exhibit at biola university where i went for my undergrad degree

 the show is called "an oracle my mother taught me" and it is a reference to proverbs 31. the three artists featured in this show are women, and since being asked to participate i've thought a lot about how the female form and my identity as a woman were shaped during those rather formative years spent in a conservative context

 i remember people always saying "get your ring by spring or your money back" and people started pairing off during freshman orientation, which was totally alarming to me

and the figure drawing class i took was not a completely nude class, models wore bandaids over their nipples and underwear. or god forbid one man wore this pouch of fabric matching his skin color that made him look like a living ken doll. every solution ended up feeling a little kinky to me, and i couldn't help wondering how many of the men in the room were seeing the most female nudity they'd ever seen before, and it was in a weird group context

i took one class called authentic womanhood that i honestly don't remember the content of

but thinking of the title reminded me of a class a friend told me about that she'd taken locally

i think we both ended up getting some beneficial material out of these classes (if nothing else there is a sense of privacy, openness, willingness to be vulnerable or safety etc that happens when just one gender is present)

for one piece in the exhibit i am including a stack of books i read after graduating that i know aided in my "deprogramming" as i've come to call it, my shedding of the ideas and opinions inherent in this subculture that don't apply to my life. i needed some stories from women who lived in the grey

i'm including a stack of mother naturalist t-shirts that i dyed with avocado especially for this show as well. i never really knew if i would be a mother, and i never really let myself want to be one much. when i met my husband i was 35, and i was trying to reconcile myself to being single forever, to renting my little studio apartment (which i dearly loved for better or worse). i almost daily find myself a bit in awe of my responsibility for two little lives, for the creation of childhoods amidst my selfishness, and i'm humbled to somehow represent the female and the mother in this show