Still searching for motherhood in the kitchen with this series of images which I call Sonogrammes. I like to see all three as some sort of triptych, like looking at a progression, a searching and longing for baby on that black and white flat space. Even scans of the bump are like slicing into something, seeing the cross-section of her body and finding baby. Counting limbs, finding the heartbeat, discovering it’s sex.
Trying to represent a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface, like still photography, is an interesting one as we can never see anything in its entirety. We can never access any full truth, there’s always a chance our baby is born with something that wasn’t detected; maybe instead of a girl, it’s a boy, maybe it’s neither particularly. Searching for this motherhood, that I feel I have both an excess and lack of, is like scrambling in the dark, trying to find and make sense of a series of twisting plaited grainy white shapes on the screen in front of me.
From nothing (flour, water, oil, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl) I form and massage, plait and twist, let it rise and bubble up. I create something that exhales and releases air. These images each have a fine grain, like every pixel is a cell or piece of data from the scan, forming a semi-coherent image that lets you bask in your baby’s existence. I once read a wonderful paper by J. Roberts (2011), where she discussed the sonographer’s role in narrating the mother’s ‘first’ visual exploration and experience of baby. As a person who naturally personifies everything, I took great interest in Roberts’ emphasis on certain behaviours and forms on the screen being translated into future personality traits and physical attributes.
Roberts, J. (2011) ‘Wakey wakey baby’: narrating four-dimensional (4D) bonding scans. Sociology of Health & Illness, pp.1-16.