Pregnancy Dichotomy

The intent in undertaking this work was to point out and express an inherently unfair dichotomy of life:

The one who has, doesn't want/ the one who wants, doesn't have!

In order to understand the symbolism in this dichotomy, it is best to view the pair of diptychs as a four-panel unit.first 2 panelspanels 3 and 4

They are hung separately, yet close together, in two groups of two to express the "before" and "after" of each of the two situations:

The first, a woman experiencing an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion;
The second, a much wanted pregnancy and a miscarriage.

The basic symbolism is:

The circle of Being (the woman)
The inner circle (the womb)
The dead fetus (below the woman)
The rectangular aura bounded by collaged string (the mood enveloping the woman)
the world (the multi-color gray rectangular areas above and below the aura).

In each of these panels, these elements and the colors used are altered to add meaning to the total concept. The "world" color remains more or less constant--a complex color with a neutral tone--for the world is not terribly moved or changed by what happens to one individual--not for long anyway.

Panel One--The unwanted pregnancy

To express the unhappy emotions involved in an unwanted pregnancy, both woman and aura are contracted and low on the "world" background for misery makes one feel small and withdrawn. The separation between aura and world is rough string and the woman is rough material to add to these dark feelings. The fetus, however, is alive and happy as indicated by the bright color. Yet there are foreboding dark "tears" falling over the womb.

Panel Two-- the abortion

abortion detail

Between panels one and two, the woman has decided to terminate the pregnancy with an abortion. The deliberateness of the murder of the innocent (the abortion) is expressed in the "mended" womb (actually sewn in) and the "surgically cut", dead (black) fetus. The woman and her aura have changed color, expanded and risen on the world background--her "burden" has been lifted. The fetus has almost dropped into oblivion (the world area) --tears mark its passing-- but deep down the "memory" remains in the woman's orbit. Is true joy really possible for her?! Compare this clouded "happiness" with panel three's joy!

Diptych Two

Panel One (3 of series)--the happy pregnancy

A sense of joy and fullfillment are expressed in an expanded woman, her aura and womb. The "real" size of the woman and womb (the under collage) are almost hidden under her emotionally-charged feelings of happiness and excitement (the over collage). The colors are the happiest of the four panels and the brightest rays seem to radiate from the womb.

Panel two (4 of series)--the miscarriage

What was sublime joy has been dashed to nothingness, to emptiness! The fetus has been lost and the woman and womb feel torn apart!

miscarriage closeup

The woman and aura are the most unhappy of all (darkest, most withdrawn, smallest and lowest on the world background). The string and woman collage are rough and frayed to indicate her feelings of desolation. To her, her womb seems an empty hole, torn apart, with its shattered contents spilled out. The lost fetus is still very much a part of her misery--and thus is still within her aura--yet is dropping into the void (the world area) as well. Tears add to the emotional impact, and, indeed, many are shed.

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