“Ang’s depiction of matrescence is layered and complex. Her images blend the gentle and soft, with a strain and rawness that becomes all-consuming. Velvety skin is enveloped in warm, delicate light. But, motifs of that tenderness behind misted glass at once suggest fullness and a claustrophobic repetition. The narrative is textured and sensual; it mirrors the intensity of Ang’s lived experience.“
In her essay
, writer Emma Pattee doubles down on the idea that "the fog of new motherhood” can be a good time for creativity, asking “what if postpartum is one of the most magical, expansive, creative times of our life?”
“First off, creativity requires novelty, and new motherhood is the definition of a novel experience. Solitude and daydreaming are both key factors in creativity – and regular occurrences in postpartum.
It seems that trauma and creativity might have a relationship because trauma forces our perspectives to shift and our brains to rebuild, and therefore explore new avenues (and no matter how closely your birth matches your birth plan, I would say that birth itself and the identity shock of becoming a mother is the very definition of trauma).”
I love how she flips the traditional expectation – the infamous pram in the hall
that scuppers all chance of creativity – and asks that we instead explore the potential of this period in our lives:
“(…) what if postpartum is one of the most magical, expansive, creative times of our life? A time when those of us who have birthing bodies have the ability to touch the birth-death continuum, to take the hormonal rollercoaster and turn it into a piece of art, to create meaning as a way of making sense of what we’ve just experienced. What if that was true? And if it was true, then how might that shift the narrative around mothers who are artists and writers? Instead of ‘Prepare to miss a year of writing,’ how about ‘Prepare to have some of the wildest ideas of your life.’ Instead of ‘For every baby you have, that’s a book you won’t write,’ how about ‘For every baby you have, that’s a new Pulitzer-prize-winning-neural-pathway that might get uncovered.’