Body Parts for Sale Series: 06 Eggs
about the exhibition
Explore my inspiration for the Body Parts for Sale exhibition in this blog post - Body Parts for Sale Series: Intro
A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime, millions of them. When she reaches puberty, around 400,000 of them will still remain. These eggs reside in the ovaries, and once a month at ovulation, one egg is released. It travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it will await fertilization by sperm. If no fertilization happens, the womb will shed the egg, along with the lining of the uterus, causing a menstruation.
A woman is at her peak fertility in her 20s and early 30s. After that, her ability to conceive drops steadily. Today, when so many western couples wait until their late 30s or even early 40s to start a family, their fertility chances will be significantly lower.
One of the ways medical science can help infertile couples is via IVF: a procedure where eggs and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. The resulting embryo is placed in the uterus. To increase chances of a successful procedure, some couples seek the help of an egg donor. This means using an egg from another woman in the IVF procedure.
Most egg donors donate primarily for altruistic reasons. Although in many countries, egg donors are paid money for their donation. Unfortunately, not all eggs are of equal value. Prices for eggs vary greatly depending on who they come from. For instance, an attractive, Ivy League graduate American might get $50,000 for her eggs, while an uneducated Ukranian woman might get only a few hundred dollars.
I had a lot of different ideas to symbolise eggs. In the end I chose two.
I started with cutting out a big round hole in vlieseline and glued the rest to a 1 mm cardboard. Then I glued furniture foot pads inside the hole and put on shellac. That part was easy but the inking process was more of a challenge. The furniture foot pads are 3 mm high and turned very hard when I sealed the plate with shellac. It was difficult to get the ink evenly in between and around them. When rubbing off the ink the paper would tear on the edges of the pads.
This print is not one of my favourites in this series at the same time it taught me a lot things about the collagraphy process. The second print I made, from the cut out hole in the vlieseline, turned out really well and was very simple to make, ink and print.
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To explore more about Body Parts for Sale, visit my other blog posts in this collection
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