Portraits with Purpose “Breastfeed”
“Breastfeed” is a essentially a series of work celebrating mothers breastfeeding their young.
This series of work evolved from my personal experience of being a breastfeeding mother. I have breastfed both my young daughters and although initially my path was a rocky one it was also precious and irreplaceable. During the time I was feeding my second daughter, Boadicea, I kept peering down at her as she looked up at me and it was this connection that compelled me to create a piece of art. I then began to painting other mums and their little ones.
Breastfeeding is a hot topic within modern society in our western culture. The subject matter is fuelled and people feel passionately about it. The press are constantly focusing on negative stories which seem to forget the functional, maternal and nutritionally precious value of breastfeeding. Breasts have become sexualised and it is almost deemed abnormal to breastfeed, especially in public. I feel this series would contribute to readdressing the balance of the natural act of feeding children with their mothers milk.
Breastfeeding mothers are strong, powerful, nurturing humans and at some points fragile. Each mother and baby partnership has their own unique story which can change and evolve quite organically or indeed be disrupted. Breastfeeding is often not plain sailing and many people feel vulnerable during this time. The series attempts to capture the loving, tender relationships and show a snapshot of the maternal bond in formation.
There are lots of mothers who proudly feed their young. The diversity is displayed within these paintings. There are young mothers, mothers feeding older children and indeed feeding 2 children at once. The work acknowledges this diversity and challenges our perceptions about the subject.
The artwork is not a instruction manual, it is not clean and clinical. The paintings seek to reveal a true reflection of mothers experiences . This project aims to show truth and reveal real stories; the artwork is not based solely on a concept, but the visuals are a gentle pathway into conversations around the subject matter.