Visualizing Birth and Kate Hansen’s “Krista and Colum”

Krista and Colum, conte crayon and gold leave on paper
Copyright 2010, Kate Hansen, All Rights reserved.

This warm and beautiful image is part of artist Kate Hansen’s larger Madonna and Child Project. Visualizing Birth has previously featured Hansen’s work, emphasizing the artist’s images in the visualization of birth and mothering (see Celebrating Birth and Mothering in the work of Kate Hansen, The Power of Birth and Motherhood in the Artwork of Kate Hansen Hansen, and Kate Hansen’s Dina and Sawyer). Hansen is also one of the artists featured in several of my academic publications and her work has appeared on the cover of my book, Imagery, Ritual, and Birth .

Using conte crayon, Hansen creates a heartfelt image of mother Krista bonding with her child, Colum. As in other works of Hansen’s Madonna and Child Project, both figures are adorned with golden haloes, emphasizing the sacred connection that all mothers have with their children. Krista nurses Colum in the nude, normalizing breastfeeding and the importance of skin to skin contact between parents and their babies.

Hansen’s works help in the visualization of mothering, but they can also help in the visualization of birth in a unique way, which pertains to imagining the child already born. When pregnant, a woman can become isolated in her thoughts about the birth process. Sometimes, imagining the child already born, understanding that birth will happen and the baby will eventually be external to the body, helps to alleviate worries about the birthing process. For more on this topic, see Visualizing Birth’s Envisioning the Child Already Born.

Kate Hansen has an academic and studio background in art.  She currently resides with her family in Courtenay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, and has exhibited her work in Chicago, Toronto and in Courtenay.  She may be contacted or more of her artwork may be seen through her website.