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Women's Voices

How this project has been significant for other women.

This project has evolved beyond clay and my own personal story - it has awakened the voices of many women. 

 

These are some of their stories...

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Listen to women sharing their stories 

Ode to a childless woman
from the voice of Jade
from the voice of Julie
from the voice of Shanti
from the voice of Ingrid (part 1)
from the voice of Ingrid (part 2)
from the voice of Jess
poem from the voice of Deirdre
poem from the voice of Olivia
... connecting to my body, my maternal ancestral line, myself as a mother to two daughters and the inter-generational healing that has begun and unfolded...

I was sitting in meditation one day, asking for guidance on how to continue my journey of healing, and a vision of a small sculpted/carved woman came to me... 

I felt so excited by this, a sign! So I began searching on the internet to see if I could find a wooden or other natural elemental feminine figure. I discovered there's a lot of mass produced feminine ideology out there. I was disappointed, how could a sacred totem become so commercialised?! 

I also sensed that all I had to do was wait and be open.

In time I reached out to an art therapist to explore healing trauma associated with my sexuality, my Yoni and my experiences becoming a mother. At the end of our second session I shared about my vision of this figurine of a woman. My therapist's eyes lit up and she began to tell me about your womb woman project and then went to her room and brought out 2 of your small, beautiful, rustic clay women, small enough that I could wrap my hand around one in an embrace. To my astonishment and deep awe of magical synchronicity, she offered one to me to have on my journey for as long as I needed. 

 

It certainly has been a journey, just in this last year so much has shifted in terms of me connecting to my body, my maternal ancestral line, myself as a mother to two daughters and the inter-generational healing that has begun and unfolded. Very often "my" little womb woman accompanies me in meditation, in retreat, and on nature excursions. I can feel the energy of love and respect with which this sacred totem has been created. She reminds me to ground myself, to breathe deep into the earth from which she was created. She reminds me I am connected, that right down in the depths of my DNA, I am not alone.  

She stirs in me the calling of my wild, powerful, feminine self to connect deeply with the cycle of life. I am so grateful she has come in to my life."

From the voice of Jen

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… represent my daughter, myself, my mother,
grandmother and great grandmother…

Dear Lisa, I love my collection of womb women. I chose each woman carefully so as to represent my daughter, myself, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

 

I keep my womb women where I can see them as a daily reminder of my feminine lineage.

 

I connect with the wisdom and deep love that travels through me and onward into future generations of women to come.

 

When I hold one of my womb women, I hold her tenderly.

 

I connect with the essence of the woman she represents for me - be she here in the physical, or in spirit.

 

I know that in each of these women is myself, and I am in each of them. We are forever connected.

 

Thank you for making it possible for me to have a daily reminder of the potent simplicity and deep power of my feminine ancestral womb connections.

from the voice of Jess

from the voice of Jess

...reminds me to be thankful for all the excellent mothering I have received...

I have two womb women.

One first was a gift from Lisa, given in a circle of friendship and connection that means so much to me. She has been held often by this group of incredible women. She has witnessed their laughter, tears, musings and intentions. She reminds me how lucky I am to belong to this family, far from my biological own. She makes me think about the power of women coming together.  Generations of women who have held each other up and found ways to share and celebrate life.  I am lucky to have such a beautiful, sculptural reminder of the many blessings of sisterhood.

 

The other was a gift from my mother in law when I was pregnant with my daughter. Unlike my first womb woman (who is slight, dainty and definitely more elegant) this womb woman is heavier, wider, more robust looking and grittier. She is formed from a different clay. She is me post-baby! Her solidness reminds me of how it feels to become a mother. No matter what may be happening in life, my anchor, my constant is my daughter and being steady for her is what is most important to me. This womb woman reminds me to be thankful for all the excellent mothering I have received. Both from my own mother and my mother in law as well as excellent friends who love and nurture me. I draw inspiration from all of them to be the best mother I can.

 

From the voice of Leigh

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… something a bit primal, a simpler life,
something we have lost touch with…

Hello Lisa, I bought five of your womb women. Three to gift to three special friends who are mentors for me, and the other two for me, a white and a dark womb woman. 

 

My two are on my shrine, in other words, they are an important part of what is sacred to me, well at least they are symbols of that, something a bit primal, a simpler life, something we have lost touch with in our 'sophisticated', complex, money-oriented, confused world. 

 

They are also symbols for my connection to the earth and to nature, and a reminder to stay connected with my body, they remind me of my connection to my three mentors, and of course they remind me of our body wisdom journey together.   

from the voice of Erica/Akasasri

My Empty Nest Syndrome ... 

I realised about 3 months after I had said a heart wrenching goodbye to my last child at his boarding school, I was throwing endless bowl shaped pots…..each one leaving my hands with tenderness, the throwing rings….the sturdy feet & strong final sweep to finish a generous lip! Had I done enough to set them up for the journey ahead? Would they do their allocated jobs, perhaps just to be admired, be the trustworthy recipients of various delicious delicacies.


About then I realised I was right in the middle of “the empty nest syndrome” yes, I was creating wombs!

 

from the voice of Bev

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Its been a gift to ponder and let the feeling of your work arrive a little more deeply for me, and capture in words the feelings sparked from first sight of your womb women ... I see a lot of love in them. They've visually lent a sense of presence on their shelf, for me a kind of daily silent witness to life.

A Poem ...

Carried

 

We, the living, know this gift, then forget

we were carried,

like those before and those to come

who will be carried.

 

Chain-link life seeking seeds merged deep with mother pod,

womb grown full to bursting;

each raw, small, sacred birth

delivered into time and place-

a life, a part,

ancient and new.

 

Oh, oh the growing, flowering, flourishing, flowing through of it all!

The carrying, offering, rushing tide of it-

full flowing flood river, blood river, love flowing life river

Oh God!

 

The flow, the flow- behind, before-

wild forward pass flowing through, passing on,

letting go, letting go, letting go

 

long slow tides releasing

each dear moment,

a lifetime.

from the voice of Deidre

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Carried ~ poem by Deirdre
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The clay Womb Woman that was gifted to me came from my mother...

"…. the author and artist of this storied exhibition, at a time when I was in the midst of my pregnancy journey. I had recently experienced my second miscarriage and was not yet pregnant with my daughter.  And honestly, at the time of being gifted this Womb Woman, I held little true appreciation for it. Now, each time I look at this sculpture I think back to that time and it makes me forever grateful for what I know now and what I have now, my beautiful baby girl."

from the voice of Rachel

 

... baby girl
 

keep their voices alive

In and out my throat

 

Before my grandmother

climbed out the window

into her next life

she gifted me a pair

of sturdy silver tweezers

 

I grabbed hold of my lips

flung them wide

climbed aboard my tongue

stretching deep into

the rabbit hole of my throat

and plucked out

 

A piece of champagne coloured lace,

a dirty rag that looked much like my

grandfather's y-fronts, a weight watcher’s

pamphlet, a mens size 10 brown leather

shoe, a bible with newspaper clippings of

my siblings birth announcements taped

inside the front cover, a suitcase full of

vomit, an orange from 1941, a handful of

dirt from the outback of Australia, a pair

of ankles, a dried branch of rosemary,

a discarded uterus,

a baby girl

 

with hundreds and thousands

of words carved into her skin

 

the women in my family

driven to butcher their voice

yet somehow

 

keep their words alive

~from the voice of Olivia

from the voice of Olivia
… When I saw the black goddess, I knew that was the one for me …

"The vision of a lineage of womb women connects to a very deep place inside me. I feel very excited, grateful and proud that you are immersing yourself so fully into this project and that I get to see where it takes you. It feels very powerful to be exploring her-story and lineage from the perspective of women, of mothers, when life in most places has been defined along patriarchal lines for so long. It stirs a deep feeling of remembering and being acknowledged at the same time.

 

I bought your womb woman because I love the way they fit in your hand and I picture you sitting in your earth home up in the bush, by the fire contently shaping them whenever I hold one.

 

When I saw the black goddess, I knew that was the one for me. The length of it, the shape, it echoes mine and it connects to my love of Africa too and how present the earth mother is on that continent, different from other places I have been, it really does feel like the place where life started.

 

I love the shimmer of the glaze.

 

She sits on my dresser next to my terracotta clay goddess I bought from Kay many years ago. They are a similar size but she is soft and curvy and they complement each other so well, knowing they were fired in the same kiln is lovely too.

 

I bought my sister a white one at a time when she needed that reassurance and support that women can so beautifully hold each other. I love knowing she is connected to this project as well.

from the voice of Rebecca

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