Body Parts for Sale Series: 05 Womb

about the exhibition

Explore my inspiration for the Body Parts for Sale exhibition in this blog post - Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro

Collagraph Printing - Body Parts for Sale - 05 Womb


There are some cases where a couple may want a baby, but the woman cannot or should not carry the child in her womb. For these couples, a surrogate mother is an option: their egg and sperm is inserted into another woman, and she carries and gives birth to the baby. There are plenty of women willing to carry a relative’s, friend’s or even a stranger’s child, helping them start a family. Surrogacy is a common way for same sex couples to become parents.

The legal rules for surrogacy varies greatly between countries. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria prohibit all forms of surrogacy.

This has led to many couples travelling abroad to secure a surrogate mother, commonly to the US, India, Thailand, Ukraine or Russia. And as with many other human body parts, when there is desperate demand, a black market can flourish. A functioning womb is a highly desirable item, and there are traffickers who would take advantage of that. In some cases by holding women locked in maternity wards while profiting from their babies.

I wanted to achieve a feeling of being inside. Of being enfolded. I had two similar ideas, the only difference being the shape.

Both were created by cutting the shape I wanted out of vlieseline which was then glued to 1 mm cardboard. Then I sealed the plates with two layers of shellac. Vlieseline holds a lot of ink and is good to achieve deep black areas. The challenging part is that it’s difficult to see if I have put on enough ink. If I am not thorough enough, the result won’t be as black and even as I want it to be. I rubbed off less ink around the edges of the black parts to create grey shades.

This is the opportunity and the challenge of collagraphy inking, the grey areas one can achieve which are beautiful but can easily get lost if one rubs off to much or not enough ink.

I like the interplay of the black and white shapes in these prints, simple yet powerful.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these limited edition prints please click here.

The collection

To explore more about Body Parts for Sale, visit my other blog posts in this collection

Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro

Body Parts for Sale Series: 01 Sperm

Body Parts for Sale Series: 02 Blood

Body Parts for Sale Series: 03 Kidney Part 1

Body Parts for Sale Series: 04 Kidney Part 2

Body Parts for Sale Series: 06 Eggs

Body Parts for Sale Series: 07 Hair

Body Parts for Sale Series: 08 Children

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