she will never…

IMG_1792He is not her child … although she loves, with all her heart, as if he were.

Her child was still born. Her body, and her heart, is broken.

She, a child herself,¬† will never have her own…

She mothers the children of others

in the banda

These are from my sketchbook. Quick drawings that may or may not be ‘worked up’ in the studio. The banda is the covered outside seating area at the clinic. The women sat, slept, sang, chatted and even danced in the banda. The water bottles were ubiquitous!

IMG_1752 IMG_1753 IMG_1751

two more…

IMG_1705 IMG_1711The work is progressing towards the Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula exhibitions¬† in London in May, and in Cardiff in August. Portraits predominate as the characters I met remain so strong in my memory and the experience of being with these women at a time in their lives when everything they had ever known and felt was being challenged in some way was so very powerful. The microcosm of their world at the time, which was the hospital, the ward, the examination room, enveloped me while I was with them there and the physical and psychological sensations and feelings that I was noting became indistinguishably both theirs and mine. I took in, and on, so much and back now in the studio, working on images of the women and of their world, I remember in my body the heat, and the dusty atmosphere and the physical confusion of feeling ‘misplaced’, but most of all I ‘feel’ the thirst (for things often far more emotional than simply for water), the disappointment, the pain, the fear, the alienation, the shame and confusion as all these things intermingle with moments of relief, and comfort, and of pure joy .