Task 42 – Why should I feel isolated and alone in my pregnant body?

Marie writes:

I really enjoyed your Response 40 – Monologues from Cork. You beautifully and simply illustrate your relationship with your mother through the poetry created from her monologues. I imagine you sitting there listening for hours on end in the way a woman might—in the past (?)—have been expected to listen to some man’s soliloquy. A reversal of roles that indirectly speaks to my question of the ‘masculine/feminine’ negotiation of space. I also know that you are genuinely fond of your mam’s patchwork quilts and it is a wonderful and respectful tribute to this work to frame and ‘pre-illustrate’ the poems with these.

When I created my response for Task 41 – Grotesque, I looked at some of Francis Bacon’s Studies of the Human Body, not realising that you had used part of a diptych from 1982 as the image for the task (perhaps we both looked at the reply to my project brief on my website from Kathinka Walter?!). I have never studied Bacon’s work in detail but I was delighted to discover this work from this oeuvre and fascinated by his use of colours and shapes and representation of the body. I felt to some degree that they illustrate how I experience my own body at the moment.

My question that prompted this task is: Why should I have to feel isolated and alone in my pregnant body?

Your task

This task will focus on your body and, if you will, your body as grotesque or ‘other’. I know that—like me—you cherish your health and want to keep fit and capable of playing and running with our daughter Lisa. I also know that your relationship with your body is complex (I imagine this is the case for most people) and that aging as a body is sometimes trying for you. This task asks you to have a closer look at this complexity and illustrate this utilising the technique and style of Francis Bacon’s paintings mentioned above. You can draw or take photos (or both) and perhaps use an app on your iPad to create images. I am not sure that you recognise the feeling of having a ‘grotesque’ body but I want you to think of aspects of your body that feels ‘other’ or different from how you perceive yourself. How can you through a response show empathy with the rapid changes I experience in my body at the moment?

See Alan’s response here.