“I am exhausted all the time…”

Embroidered mixed-media collage || paper and thread || 50 x 65cm

The Postpartum Reflections series examines the loneliness, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety that women can experience with motherhood by juxtaposing idealized domesticity and femininity with the isolation and confusion the no one likes to talk about.

I combine images of beautifully designed minimalist homes from interior design magazines and books with women from modernist and contemporary paintings (Picasso, Modigliani, Diebenkorn, etc.). I cut the women out of old art museum postcards, deliberately leaving sharp and awkward edges. I then scan and digitally layer the women into these interiors to consciously exploit the contrast between the unattainable perfection of these homes (no noisy toys, no piles of papers, no laundry baskets) and the abstract women who appear to be suffering and sad. I print the images on different textured papers, blurring some layers and leaving others focused. The layers are then torn, burned, and sewn together to represent both the fragility and strength of mothers through the paper itself.

The titles for each work are quotes from real women that come from the podcast, “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” on postpartum depression.