“A trip to hell a trip to heaven and the death of the self for a new self.” These words by the artist Susan Miller are the most poignant I read on motherhood in my early postpartum days. Surely, there was joy at the arrival of this new being, but an inexplicable fear that sank in just as deep as the euphoria. If you asked me I could not sum up this fear. I suddenly felt afraid of everything. Though I had performed the feat of labor and birth, I felt unqualified for the role of a mother. Fragments of my pre-birth self still exist, but it was healing to begin thinking of the baby's birth as my own rebirth. Instead of desperately trying to reclaim my old self, or contend with how she would exist alongside this newfound mother identity, I mourned her passing, and began looking to this new self with curiosity and excitement. “Amma/Mama 1440” is an ongoing body of work where I hope to account for every minute of a twenty-four hour period in the forms of painting, monoprinting and machine drawing. In these pieces I explore the differences in the culture I was brought up in, versus the narratives around childbirth, childrearing and motherhood in the West. The pieces are also an attempt to be present. I found the antidote to fear in mindfulness. In the more challenging moments, I am able to pause through the simple act of taking note of the exact time. It brings peace to know that time flows.
fatema.abizarp, “Fatema Abizar,” Artist Parent Index , accessed December 6, 2023, http://artistparentindex.com/items/show/630.
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