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Coromandel Town Chronicle December 2022

Thank you to all who shared with me that they had read my article in the Nov issue, I really appreciate the interest and encouragement, and so enjoy the wide variety of conversations that were sparked.

This month I would like to touch upon women’s stories, the individual and the collective, that each woman contains the power of her own story, and collectively become an insight into the powerful story of womankind.

I am one woman who happens to be alive now, one woman’s voice in the entire existence of womankind, so too this exhibition becomes one window into the bigger subject of women’s voices, the story of women as a whole. At times I feel my own voice, my own story, is small and insignificant, simply one of many millions and therefore does not really matter, then I remember the one hundred thousand grandmothers behind me, I wonder what their names were and how they experienced life, I sense a deeper connection and know I have a place, that I am adding my voice to theirs. Their collective story is alive within my own bones, I do matter.

I feel so honoured to hear the stories women have been willing to share with me … Stories of adoption; choosing not to have children; unable to conceive; naming the women in their line back through generations; friends & family pregnant right now; grandchildren just born; broken connections between daughters, mothers and grandmothers; sadness of a grandmother who knows this particular line of hers ends with her daughters because there will be no grandchildren; midwives and doctors tending to pregnant women; the pain of miscarriage; the pain of wanting and trying for a child so deeply yet those precious little embryo's don't make it. I have heard women’s voices speaking with joy, pain, tears, excitement, tentativeness, heartbreak and I have been bought to tears feeling so humbled. For some women a new curiosity has been ignited when we talked about the idea behind Womb Women, who are the women in their line? What stories are still alive about their grandmothers? A new desire sparks to reconnect with mothers and grandmothers alive with us now.

This work is more expansive than one continuous line of women reaching back behind us, then forward (for some women) into the future. This work honours every woman and her story, every woman has her own place in the continual unfolding of humankind.

Last week I completed the 9th life-size Womb Woman, the last of this particular line, this felt like such a big milestone!! My excitement keeps growing as I imagine how they are all going to look as they stand in one curving line through the centre of the two rooms in Hauraki House! Next I will be starting the two life-size women who will be gracing the entrance doorway of the gallery, you will pass between them as you enter. I feel a sense of guardianship in these women, pillars of the gateway to the world of women within.

Keep an eye out in the next two chronicle’s as I will be sharing more about this ever evolving exhibition, plus you can also check out my website for a deeper view of ‘Womb Women’.

Warm regards Lisa


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