The Wandering Womb Paintings

Wandering Womb
27 x 35 cm, oil on canvas, 2011
 
 
 
“Wandering womb” is an old greek belief that a displaced uterus was the cause of many medical pathologies in women. The first description of the theory of a “wandering womb” is from Aretaeus, a physician in Galen in the 2nd century. He wrote that the uterus could move out of place, and float within the body:

In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax, and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or the spleen, and it likewise is subject to prolapsus downwards, and in a word, it is altogether erratic. It delights also in fragrant smells, and advances towards them; and it has an aversion to fetid smells, and flees from them; and, on the whole, the womb is like an animal within an animal.

The belief that the uterus could move freely, similar to an “animal within an animal”, may have been part of ancient cultural beliefs in Greece, but the earliest known written accounts of it are in the teachings of Hippocrates. The movement of the uterus was believed to cause pressure on nerves, arteries, and other organs, which in turn created symptoms of illness. The concept of hysteria caused by “wandering womb” continued to be taught from one generation of medical researchers to the next in Europe up until the early modern era.

These paintings and The Exorcism Collection were all part of the show Full Arch at Crystal Contemporary, Stockholm, SE

Detail from The Exorcism Collection (Inspired by the Egyptian painting, artist unknown, 13th century BC)
 
 
 

You must close the circle
24 cm x 33 cm, oil on canvas, 2011
 
 
 

Where we have slept
140 x 120 cm, oil on canvas, 2011
 
 
 

Landscape
100 x 80 cm, diptych collage, oil on 2 canvases, 2011
 
 
 

Born this way
15 x 15 cm, oil on canvas
 
 
 

Blinded
Diptych; 82 x 33 cm, oil on canvas, 2011
 
 
 

Beautiful Exorcism
Triptych collage, 120 x 80 cm, oil on 3 canvases, 2011
 
 
 

Towards the light
Polyptych, 190 x 135 cm, oil on 5 canvases, 2011
 
 
 
Towards the light (Rihanna)
Polyptych, 190 x 135 cm, oil on 5 canvases, 2011
 
 
 
Towards the light (Beyoncé)
Polyptych, 190 x 135 cm, oil on 5 canvases, 2011