Birthing Tray - Oil

In the Italian Renaissance, birthing trays were not merely used to carry foodstuffs to pregnant woman or new mothers but were also used as objects as contemplation. They were thought to have magical properties which would protect woman from the pain of childbirth or could prevent woman from giving birth to deformed children.

Instead of the idyllic scenes usually depicted on these trays, in many of The Birthing Tray series, a violent caesarean birth is depicted and the gender roles depicted by the ‘confined’ woman in her bedchamber and the explorer are intertwined in scenes that undermine expected gender conventions.

  • Birthing Tray - Oil
  • 2006
  • Digital print of scanned woodcut and photograph
  • 20
  • Sheet Size: 56 x 85 cm