Sub rosa is the Latin term for "under the rose," which means "in secret.” For many, miscarriage is a secret and solitary experience. This may seem odd given one in four pregnancies result in miscarriage, approximately 750,000 to 1,000,000 every year in the United States. However, scores of women or families miscarry alone due to the “12-week rule.”
Medically, miscarriage is treated as a “routine pregnancy complication.” Your doctor or midwife explain options. You receive a booklet with pictures and explanations designed to inform a woman/couple of the why’s and what-happens-next; a booklet that should be helpful, but depending on your situation may not be due to the trauma of loss. Maybe you turn to the internet.
People are uncomfortable talking about pregnancy loss, so they don’t. How do you mourn someone who never came into being? There are no rituals for miscarriage, thus no cultural steps or process designed to aid in mourning. You try to imagine a new future, a new what-happens-next. And in time, you do, though it is difficult. This project explores the confusion, sadness, conflicting emotions, and the process of moving forward.
This project is a departure from ideas I have been pursuing within my studio practice for the past several years. It was created during an artist residency at the Ucross Foundation thanks to the generous support of the Ford Family Foundation.