Medical spaces have long held a fascination for me as both an observer and as a participant. I’m intrigued by the relationships we form with specific medical environments and how our expectations about the treatment of our own bodies is shaped by our surroundings.
Maternity Ward is an in progress series exploring my role as a new mother and references my continued dependence on medical intervention. Motherhood was not something I truly expected to experience. In 2004 a portion of my cervix was removed to treat the first stages of cervical cancer as a result of HPV. I feared I wouldn’t be able to conceive let alone carry a child to term. In the early months of my pregnancy my cervix was checked often which also led to the discovery of a placenta previa. Both medical conditions were monitored closely and although not immediately life threatening caused emotional anxiety throughout most of my pregnancy.
In much the same way I staged prior self portraits taken in medical environments, I worked very intuitively in the abandoned Yorktown Hospital. Limited by lack of air conditioning or heat and inconsistent access to power, I let the space and light dictate where and when I would photograph. Using only what was on hand I began to weave a small narrative through the space each time I returned–the images became not only a record of my pregnancy and my physical changes but also revealed my changing emotions towards my son and the many unknowns ahead of us.
I plan to continue the series until the year anniversary of my son’s birth and my new role as a mother.