Empty – An Artists’ Book About Infertility

Like many women, I struggle with infertility. And, like many artists, I make art about those topics which are the hardest, and the most important, to explore. For my BFA show last year I made a series of women’s figures and artists’ books titled, “Always Reborn.” The show explored issues particular to women’s experiences including infertility, family, love, and violence against women.

The books that I made for the show have been shown in galleries since then, but I realized that they weren’t quite yet in their final form. The wax covers were not realistic for handling and there were small changes that I needed to make to bring the book into the full focus of my original vision. Whereas I originally started with the women’s form and then added the book, I realized the book was all that is needed, the form became secondary.

I’ve been working on the final versions and am finally ready to release them into the world. Empty is one in a series of four books: Empty, I’m Telling You NowLoves Me/Not and Family Circle.

Empty explores infertility using the universal display of family photos. As my mother, my grandmother, and many mothers have before me, I imagined a display on the mantel of photos of my children: baby photos, first-day-of-school photos, graduation and wedding photos. Empty displays the frames sans photos. The lullabies I’ve hummed countless times to imaginary children weave through the book in a faded, almost transparent soundtrack.

Edition of 10, archival inkjet printed on Rives BFK.

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com

One response to “Empty – An Artists’ Book About Infertility

  1. Ginger,
    I was not yet making artists books back when I was facing infertility problems, but I can sympathize with you. “Empty” is lovely, but it strikes me as having a quality of finality. I hope that you will not, utimately be your experience. We eventually adopted, but that is not necessarily the right solution for all couples. But I know, from our experience and the experiences of others, is that infertility is always (whatever the outcome) the beginning of a long story. I hope you’ll continue to tell the story in more beautiful books.
    Sally

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