‘Egg surprise’ is an overview of the primordial state of life inside a woman’s body and how a story unfolds from it. Empty eggs, full eggs, painful eggs, unwanted eggs. Whilst these decisions are made for us within our bodies, we have no choice or control over what the outcome will be. During this time our brains are full of random thoughts. Dealing with a pregnancy, expected or not, triggers many doubts and anxieties. ‘Egg surprise’ is the silent scream of happiness, fear, rejection, hope, relief and the many other feelings a pregnancy brings to light.

The playful idea of using a chocolate egg as the involucre for this issue comes from my knowledge as an experienced parent. The future of a mother to be is chocolate. Chocolate could easily have been one my kids first words – they’re pretty much obsessed with it – it’s unbelievable how so much of their time and energy goes towards earning points for some sort of chocolate reward!

I like the idea that even in those early stages my children were forming all those genetic characteristics that I am still learning about now. Chocolate is truly in our families genes.

With these images I try to symbolise the essence of the parent/child relationship. The effort, the patience, the will and sometimes the battles we go through in creating life intertwine with our kids favourites – chocolate, surprises and toys.


About Amy Dignam

I’m an artist, curator and mother of three. Originally from Italy, I moved to London in 1998. I graduated from Central Saint Martins college in 2005 and become a busy wife and mother straight afterwards. In 2012 I created and launched the Desperate Artwives project -an on-line gallery for w…Read more

Website: http://desperateartwife.blogspot.co.uk

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2 Responses to “Egg surprise”

  1. Frances Earnshaw

    A lovely and witty idea! I especially love the chocolate eggs placed on her body.

    Though I love the words in the eggs too. I would like it if there was something in the eggs with the words. Perhaps blood. This is triggering all sorts of ideas. This is a part of the power of art. The artist’s idea is viewed, and other images appear within the viewer.

  2. Helen Sargeant

    Mothering constantly surprises me. Its like a bed of shifting sand. The moment I feel I have grasped a hold of it, it falls away. I feel little control over my position as a mother.
    Chocolate eggs with plastic toys inside….you cannot control whats in them but it always seems to be either delight or disappointment that Naoise expresses when opening one. The chocolate is always a constant, sweet, comforting breakable. It sometimes comforts the disappointment of the toy.
    Not sure where I am going here, other than I like your observations and connections between food, mothering, love, nurture.
    We do have a degree of control over our fertility, the use of the contraceptive pill and IVF. But nothing is a given and yes so much is decided by the body. I feel blessed that I have been able to have two healthy children.
    I find the complexities of mothering, the emotional side of things to be a constant unravelling of the self. Its something to do with self sacrifice and the expectation that we will fulfil this role as mothers. The fact that perhaps we have no other choice but too be self sacrificing troubles me.
    A mothers tears are the tears of the world. Right now, like the weather I feel confused. Its been too wet, now its cold again. Yesterday cycling along the canal path to Hebden Bridge, I saw blossom coming out on a tree. We are far from spring, the winter really has only just begun. The christmas tinsel, crackers, biscuits, puddings and chocolate are gone from the shelves but the easter eggs have already arrived.
    I made a drawing that I posted today “Its a chicken and an egg”.The puzzle/toy that I used in this image came out of a christmas cracker. I thought that there was some connection between your chocolate eggs and my plastic one. Synthetic/toy/puzzle eggs, edible eggs. Your work also made me think of Helen Chadwicks work, the chocolate fountain Cacao 1994.
    Mothering, like chocolate we desire it, it fills us up and empties us out.


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