Diary

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Notes on Ultrasound

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Sun 2nd Dec, 23:31:40

During the residency there were lots of issues with high risk pregnancies and abnormal scans. I spent a lot of time with Sarah in foetal management observing scans and amniocentesis. I was particularly interested in how this scanning process is viewed by the parents and by medical professionals

Ideas around separation and surveillance of female body

How does the mother view the scan? Inevitably there is a detachment of viewer from what is seen – the view of the foetus as separate from the mother. Sometimes the foetal image appears as an abstraction.

Previously investigations would have been carried out by touch, the doctor/midwife examining the woman’s abdomen. In this situation the maternal body is a swollen positive space protruding into the world. In the ultrasound image the womb is represented as dark void surrounding the positive representation of the foetus – a shift between positive and negative.

The monitor is turned for everyone to view but what is the nature of the different types of viewing. Sarah is searching for detail, measuring, checking organs, looking for particulars but how is mother/father viewing the scan? What are they projecting on to this image of the unborn child. What is the emotional impact of seeing foetus on ultrasound?
Does the foetus become more of an autonomous being for the mother?
Does this effect the woman’s own experience of her pregnancy/body?
Does ultrasound reinforce a psychological separation of mother/child during pregnancy?

The ink paintings I have made on this issue play on positive and negative space. I have tried to make images form, dissolve and reform in response to the process of ultrasound.

I am particularly interested in what desires and fears of the future are being projected into the space of the void/womb and onto the foetus.


waving child

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Sun 2nd Dec, 23:27:05

Series of works - ink on paper 25 x 35 cm (from ultrasound experiences)


crying child

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Sun 2nd Dec, 23:23:32

achieving child

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Sun 2nd Dec, 23:09:06

withdrawn child

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Sun 2nd Dec, 22:48:29

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