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lullaby project book, mary
lullaby project book, mary
lullaby project, 2019
Working collectively through crowd sourcing and collaboration, Aimee Gilmore’s lullaby project is part of ongoing work around motherhood and labor. In this inaugural iteration of the project, Gilmore invited women to share their stories of childbirth, which she translates into a lullaby format, which compiled into a Risograph book. In addition to the text component of lullaby project, Gilmore developed a visual language derived from objects associated with new motherhood, such as baby blankets, sourced from a variety of mothers. These extracted images of soft baby objects are presented large-scale as an homage to the often unacknowledged labor of labor, and the complexity of new motherhood.
Why don’t we share our birth stories more? Our stories of labor and loss and love. The birth process is really all of these elements kneaded together into one enormously emotional and physical feat. No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do we all start from the same place. From inside a womb. We’ve all been birthed. We’ve all been participants in a birth story. Some of us only of our own. Some of us have experienced both aspects of the process.
Everyone who gives birth has their own unique tale of their transformation. Their metamorphosis into motherhood. Unique yet essentially the same for thousands of years. A magical and sacred journey of connection and separation. Separating while still being physically connected. Connected for the sole purpose of eventually separating. Yet not every birth is given the respect to which it is entitled to. Pains are often ignored and dismissed. Needs are often forgotten somewhere along the way.
Each and every birth story deserves a place to be shared. A way to commemorate this passage. Aspace made for them, nurturing for them, just as they have carried them, and then delivered them into existence. No story is too small. No detail insignificant. A way to acknowledge the womxn who have shared their body with another life. These stories highlight the raw strength and energy that’s activated from within to get through labor in and of itself.
Collecting these stories has been a slow process, and an ongoing one, which speaks to their power. It’s not easy to revisit this process and find words for it. It is practically indescribable so to vocalize it is not simple. We unlock these stories, sharing a private, painful experience as a way of acknowledging its centrality to human existence. We’re told no one wants to hear these stories, these details of blood and pain and stretching and screaming. So we lock them away. Maybe by singing them we’ll hear them better, listen more closely? A way of retelling our stories, masking the pain through prose, I try to honor each transition into motherhood by transforming these stories into lullabies.
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