“The human species is no more unsuited to give birth than any other of the 5000 species of mammals on the planet. The birth-giving woman is the central agent in the ancient drama of bringing forth new life”. – Ina May
Every year we celebrate a natural birth, a story that takes place in the most primitive surroundings. Mary, giving birth to the Son of God in a stable, that infamous image portrayed recurrently in our culture, familiar to even the non-religious. Yet how is it that beyond Julius Garibaldi’s 1891 painting of Mary and Joseph slumped in raw exhaustion, we have never seen a ‘real’ depiction of birth biology, particularly of Mary in upright, ecstatic primal instinct that such an environment would have helped facilitate?
Risking controversy to use universal characters to portray the ultimate ‘birth undisturbed’ amongst other mammals in a dim and lowly environment, suggests to modern woman that often in birth, less is more. An ideal lies really in the balance of nature and medicine, but to depict Mary in the powerful moment of bringing Christ Earthside, into the calm and steady hands of an actively participating Joseph, protests any notion that the humbling, creative power of woman is anything but as awe-inspiring as the creative hand of God himself.
“I’m not making any statement that is anti or pro-Christianity here nor to take any limelight away from Jesus himself necessarily just making my own art interpretation. I want to show what’s never shown in a Nativity scene. The divine, feminine power that brings Jesus to Earth. [….] and do just enough to make the scene believable. I don’t want to unnecessarily offend religious friends.” ~ Miss Aniela Photography
On a personal note:
It is my personal belief that we are all called on Earth to witness the miracle of life. As a Catholic drawn to many questions on the humanity of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I am torn relating to the pain of giving birth.