Visualizing Birth through Project Sheela

Sheela-na-gig, clay with 22-carat gold-lustered labia
Project Sheela, copyright 2022, Dublin, Ireland

Visualizing Birth was recently delighted to find this article on the Sheela-na-gig in The Guardian by Jenny Stevens. The extraordinary sheela figurines, which date at least to medieval times if not earlier and are found primarily in Ireland, the British Isles and northwestern France, though they have been found elsewhere in Europe, have been an important topic in past posts about how to use the figure to visualize birth on the Visualizing Birth blog (see: Calmness and Strength in the Birthing Figure of the Sheela-na-gig; Visualizing Birth through the Sheela-na-gig; Revisiting the Sheela-na-gig).  

Not only does Stevens’ article incorporate discussion of the history of the Sheela-na-gig, it also provides important information about how the figurine is being used in contemporary rituals of birth. The work of Irish feminists on Project Sheela is also highlighted.

Please see Stevens’ article below.