Opening Up and Aurore Henze Adamkiewicz’s “My Birth”
My Birth, acrylic
Copyright 2004, Aurore Henze Adamkiewicz, All Rights reserved.
Standing large at 4 x 3.5 feet, Aurore Henze Adamkiewicz’s My Birth immediately warms the viewer’s eyes with its rich colors and smooth shapes. The piece is highly useful in the visualization of birth, representing the fullness of an opening birth passage. Three crowning spheres emerge from within the passage’s darkness, pressing forward into the light of the world. A bright star twinkles above a gush of blue water flowing outward from within. Three swirls of color–two at the bottom and one at top–connect organically to the vulva, representing a clitoris and ovaries.
The power of birth art images depicting an opening up of the female body in the way that My Birth does should not be underestimated. Similar in ways to a mandala, Adamkiewicz’s birth painting encourages the pregnant viewer to meditate on the way that her own body will open for her crowning baby, reminding her of the vulva’s natural capacity to enlarge and spread, thereby allowing her baby to emerge.
My Birth is also a calming and soothing image for the pregnant woman to look at. The colors, shapes and flowing water all transmit sensations of calmness to the viewer. The movement of blue and white water impresses the pregnant viewer with feelings of fluidity and smoothness, instilling in her a visualization of the baby who will flow into the world from within her womb.
In our correspondences, Aurore has described various aspects of this beautiful birth art to me,
All of the elements are represented in colors–fire, water, air, earth, it is in metallic. The spiral is the clitoris–showing that in birth, sexuality is connected…the spiral of life. The planets are my children, and at the bottom on either side are the ovaries, you cannot see it but there are clear glass beads representing the ovum. It is one of my favorites–it is by my front door. I made it when my third child was around one (while) I was at my friend’s house and we were both so stressed out with our kids. But she studied art and architecture in Paris and Florence, and her presence always inspired me, so we decided to just sit down, grab a bottle of wine and paint. I forget what she painted, but this is what was on my mind at the time–I originally called it “Birthday.” My friend has since moved to California…but I credit our friendship in motherhood for this piece.