The Awakening

When I sat down to make this video work my idea was to make something hopeful. I wanted to joyfully celebrate the way that ‘life lives’ — just that basic concept that drives everything.

So, I thought I want to show the beginning of the process of life, and it’s often a miraculous process. Like bats give birth upside down, which is beyond me.

I thought of how this process is expressed in my body, and how amazing it is that every month, I have the capacity to produce life, and this colours the whole of my life. Even though I don’t want to make any more lives.

When my egg is released, I’m much more open to ideas, it’s a great time. I can engage in so many more things in life that I normally think are not viable. When the egg eventually dies in me, it’s time to be alone. I retire from the world and just think a lot, stay away from people and prepare to reinvent myself again for the next month. I love this process. It’s coming to the very end for me now that I’m 55. So now I watch the other cycles in the world.

It makes me think there is something extraordinary going on inside all of our bodies. It’s truly amazing and links us to every flower in every garden that has ovaries. It links us to every other animal that we share the planet with. It’s our connection to every other life form. We all live, and we are so lucky that evolution has gone ‘our’ way.

And this is kind of a big thing to say if you are a feminist, because I don’t want to be seen as just a body, and I don’t want to make other women feel bad if they don’t have eggs or even want children. It’s not what defines femininity or being a woman. I don’t believe we should try and control what women want to do with their bodies. But we were all born from an egg and that is pretty amazing.

In this video I tried to imagine an egg being released, or a baby being born, but in a way that captures the joy and amazingness of it. I really love the smile at you can see at the end.

Images of human eggs being released.

After this piece was finished, my friend Jackie sent me an image from 2008 of an egg being released from an ovary. Nobody had ever photographed this moment before, and just by chance during an examination, an egg was released, and it was photographed. I was really struck by how much it looked like what I’d imagined.