Radiant Crowning in Damien Leggett’s “Freebirth of Amara”
Created by Canadian artist, Damien Leggett, this work, Freebirth of Amara, is both magnificent to look at and highly useful in the visualization of birth. The central image of a large dark swirl colored in pink, black and red, indicates the emergence of a crowning baby from a woman’s opening birth passage. Strong arms and legs spread from the woman’s core, framing her body and adding energetic movement to the birth moment depicted. Two smaller circles, the woman’s breasts, rest above a raised, pink belly, their swirling shapes emphasizing the crowning that takes place below. Leggett’s use of flesh-colored dots to outline the entire body also act to energize the piece, visually reminding the viewer of how radiant and active the birthing body can be. Finally, at the center of the composition sits the unmistakeable image of an eye, as though representing a sacred chakra within the female body. Commonly described and depicted in images from eastern cultures, chakras correspond to powerful, spiritual centers of the body, which together regulate its functioning.
The piece of art that you chose is called Freebirth of Amara, which is exactly what it was inspired by. This is a woman who is surrounded by fire and helping spirits, but she is ultimately alone. This is a moment of transformation; having only herself to rely on, this woman has pushed past fear, passed through many emotions to ultimately find herself free of attachment… she just is, in this moment.
I have been working in the realm of birth for almost ten years, advocating for the right of women and infants to dignity in their birth experiences. I have apprenticed with birth here in Canada, as well as in Central America. I am in the process of transitioning to a male body but honour the feminine in everything around me, including my Self. I am a single father of three amazing children who have shown me who I truly am.