Last Friday, an workshop took place at the Eco Femme headquarters in collaboration with Dhartimata Sustainable Workshop entitled My Womb, My Mother Earth.
Hsiu Ping Lin of Dhartimata and Bonte Handmade Jewelry explains her project:
“It started with a very simple idea back in 2012, “transform”. To transform a beautiful womb into a wearable necklace, with the complex silver weaving skill and lacquer wear. This beautiful womb necklace is just a beginning.”
After designing and making this intricate piece of jewellery which took 2 months to complete, Hsiu Ping realised that this necklace was just her own interpretation of what the uterus was and she decided she wanted to explore the stories of the uterus, how the woman feel about their uterus, how they connect to themselves and to the Mother Nature. In Chinese, uterus means child’s temple. After all we all once lived in this temple.
“I’m eager to explore more about what other woman feel about their uterus, how they are connected to their uterus and inner self. I invite women to draw their uterus freely and share stories. This is the most simple way to understand yourself, your womb and connect to the Mother Earth. I’m planning to collect 100 uterus paintings from all over the world. So far I have collected 70 paintings, and each of them has a story behind the picture.”
This project has led Hsiu Ping and her 2 sisters to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal and South India to host these events with groups of women (and a few men!). She says that there have been a number of common themes within the collected drawings including nature, trees, life and love.
Whilst in Thailand they visited a Karen tribe living in a refugee camp in Mae Sot near the border of Burma where they found the women very open to discuss themselves but struggled to draw their wombs as they had no real experience of drawing creatively. This meant the sisters had to help the women to find their confidence to draw before starting. There is no judgement during these workshops, everyone is invited to draw whatever they feel and to share as they like.
At the end of 2015, Hsiu Ping will be hosting an exhibition, she has made a second necklace, this time using inspiration from the vagina and she plans a third necklace based on a pregnant woman.
“I will present “My womb, My Mother Earth project” with the necklaces and 100 uterus paintings. I hope that through my project, it could awake woman’s ignorance of this beautiful, dynamic uterus, and a love, care for the Mother Earth.”
So, last Friday, people from all nations and backgrounds gathered at the Saracon Campus ready to draw their uterus.
We began with an introduction to the project and each other before settling down to visualise and draw our wombs. There was a flurry of action as people gathered their chosen colours and drawing implements and found a spot to sit within the campus, then quiet as everyone contemplated the task before them. Finally, one by one we began to draw and paint our wombs.
I found this to such an interesting moment of insight and reflection. I had come to this event without preconceptions and without a clear idea of what image would appear on my paper but after a moment, the colours and shapes began to become clear in my mind and I found it easy to put my ideas down. It was so peaceful in the campus and there was a sense of togetherness as we all focused on our shared task.
When we finished our drawings, we gathered again in a circle and each shared a little about our picture and what thoughts and feelings had manifested during the process. It was incredible to see that there were a number of similar themes, nature, trees, spirals. Everyone seemed to feel a real connection to themselves and this part of us that is often overlooked but unifies humanity as a whole.
You can also send your own uterus drawing or painting to:
Post code: 330
No.10 Zhong Yuan Rd.,
Hsiu Ping, Lin
+886 933 957 205
Our thanks and love to the sisters of Dhartimata for allowing Eco Femme to be a part of their project and to Krupa of Sankalpa: Art Journeys for the use of art supplies.