Empowering Mothers through Lauren Turner’s “Mother Nursing with Lace”
The work of Lauren J. Turner, a Baltimore artist and birth doula, which has been featured in such publications as the Baltimore Magazine, highlights the importance of Black maternal health while also celebrating the rites of passage of birth, breastfeeding, mothering and parenting. Visualizing Birth has previously featured Turner’s work on the pregnant body (see here).
Turner, who usually paints using acrylic on canvas, has described her work as a form of storytelling , stemming in part from her own empowering experiences of birth, nursing and mothering. These experiences, expressed through her art, as well as her work as a doula, have connected her to a wide array of women who have also undergone these same rites of passage.
In this glorious painting, Mothering Nursing with Lace, Turner depicts a striking woman loosely shrouded in beautiful lace, whose child looks up at its mother’s face while nursing. The mother tenderly holds her child’s foot, looking calmly and powerfully at the viewer. The warm reddish tones of the painting’s background create a divine glow around the woman as she nourishes her child.
The painting is helpful for other women to see as they navigate mothering and breastfeeding. For the Black community in particular, the image provides women with a positive and empowering representation of a nursing mother. Arisika Razak, Professor Emerita of Philosophy and Religion and Women’s Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), as well as a Registered Nurse Midwife, has described in her scholarship the importance that powerful representations of Black women can have for Black women as they perceive their own bodies, including in the context of birth and mothering. Turner’s Mother Nursing with Lace, as well as many of her other paintings, provide just such representations
Prints of this painting may be ordered through this page on Turner’s website.
Lauren J. Turner lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband two children. She gave birth to both of her children at home and describes birth as an empowering experiences. To contact Lauren, see more of her birth art, or purchase her prints, visit her website: laurenjturnerfineart.com She is also on Instagram @laurenjturnerfineart and is the Owner of @BirthNerds