Visualizing the womb through WAK’s “Mother Earth”
Mother Earth (Copyright [date unknown], WAK. All Rights Reserved)
In Mother Earth, well-known contemporary artist WAK (Kevin A. Williams) paints a beautiful woman in profile, her belly pregnant with a glowing earth. The rich, warm tones of the artist’s paint blend to create the woman’s body, and this color choice helps to make the viewer feel calm and secure, as if seated in front of a fire that burns softly at the ground.
Elsewhere on the web, I have found this same image used in various profile shots, some of which allude to the figure of Yemaja (Yemaya), a mother goddess whose origins are found in the Yoruba mythology of Africa. Yemaja is today celebrated in many cultures around the world, known as a figure connected to a variety of symbols, including: the female principle of creation, fertility, motherhood, and protection at sea. Like the great goddess Kali of the Hindu tradition, Yemaja is a multidimensional figure who is characterized as both wrathful and nurturing. Yet an understanding of how pregnancy and motherhood are powerful moments and not weak ones seems to be universal in relationship to this goddess.
Whether the figure is representative of Mother Earth or of Yemaja, her image is useful to pregnant women as they prepare for labor and birth. Her womb full, Mother Earth stands strongly, appearing both capable and tranquil. The glowing belly is an aspect of this painting that other women can particularly focus on when they visualize their own babies inside. Back in 2009, during one session with my prenatal yoga instructor, Kari Marble, I vividly remember Kari as instructing us to close our eyes and envision our babies as globes that glowed a soft white from within our wombs. We focused on this image for a while and it made me feel strongly connected to my child.
On his website, WAK describes the woman of this painting as,
The black woman, the original woman, the mother of civilization. This painting illustrates the inner glow and tranquility of this beautiful woman as well as the power of the miracle of childbirth.
Highly successful as an artist in America, WAK is involved in numerous projects and is a famous figure who has appeared as a speaker on talk shows, conferences and other major events, both in the US and abroad. To see more of his work or to reach Wak through his company Wak Artistry, see his website.