You are looking at red coiled ropes. I’ve been doing a lot of them in my other art book (which I have not yet shared nor mentioned, and for the time being it’s going to remain under wraps, so don’t ask any more). Sometimes they resemble snakes. They came about as a visual metaphor for the blood in the human female reproductive system: an umbilical cord, menstrual blood, lochia*, placenta.

They are not snakes. I sometimes think of them as snakes, and this would be in relation to the Greek goddess of childbirth, for whom snakes are sacred. Snake-like, but not snakes. Snakes will be a different entry in the dictionary.

They are coils. They connect and weave with each other. They are red because they are made of blood. Blood to nourish a baby, a sacred gift from a mother’s womb. Sometimes the blood spills, there is no baby this month, and I imagine that the womb weeps. But the womb carries on, preparing for the next baby, the next cycle, dreaming of totally nourishing a new being.

They are umbilical cords. They link a mother to her baby, through which she can give and give and give to her relentlessly selfish unborn child. When they coil into a ball, they are sometimes the baby itself.

The coils extend over the edge of the page, into the space that the drawing lives in. This thing that I’m talking about, this female mother umbilical placenta, is a universal thing that is almost beyond words, beyond concepts (beyond my page) and it binds us all, interdependent, together.

To sum up: these red coils symbolize the inner visceral mechanics of pregnancy and the human female reproductive cycle, which we all have first-hand knowledge of, even if we don’t remember it, because if you are reading these words my friend, it means that you were in a womb for nine months.

*A quick rant against our reproductive education: why is lochia never mentioned, nor even a word in my text editor’s dictionary? Why did I have to find out about it as a pregnant woman?

Written by: