"Maternity Leave: Para-Natural Pregnancies", by Devin Harclerode + Kristen Sanders
Opening reception on March 3rd from 6-9pm.
Exhibition runs through March 26th.
Gallery hours Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1-6pm.
Maternity Leave: Para-Natural Pregnancies is a collection of six suits that invoke notions of “anti-fertility” and preternatural birth. Exploring various birthing phenomena through myth-making, the outfits work to disintegrate the stigmas, regulations, and narratives surrounding the relationship between having a uterus and giving birth.
With wearable suits as our medium, we give power to the performative identity.
We deconstruct conventional outfit making materials to imagine a fashion that can shift our reality of what giving birth means. Our labor is interested in appropriating “women’s work”, emphasizing its gendering and selling ready-to-wear accessories to subvert the unpaid status of domestic and reproductive labor.
The collection examines how pregnancy and birth distorts and redefines what is human and thus what is “femininity”. The aim is to shift the stigmas in the positive by investigating phenomena such as sci-fi human-alien hybrid birth, fetus mutation, Hippocrates’ treatises on infertile woman, female hominid ancestors, ancient birth control, and witchcraft.
Ultimately, our suits embody characters that evoke the prehuman, the human, and the para-human - considering metaphorical fertility as something fluid and something to weaponize.
Come see Maternity Leave with cash in hand to buy the ready-to-wear accessories with your contributions going to the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project (RRFP.net) to fund abortions for those that otherwise would not be able to afford them!