The Self Portrait (2018-2019)

In this series, Jennifer explores the representation of the pregnant nude. This series was painted while Jennifer was pregnant with her second child. During her first pregnancy she delibertely avoided the topic of pregnancy for fear of being considered overly ‘feminine’and of painting female topics.
Visual representations of the female nude during stages of providing life are taboo. Birth is messy. Nobody wants to talk about cutting, stitches and blood and afterbirth. Images of mother and child still adhere to one of the classical madonna and child , which throughout history were usually painted by men. Breastfeeding in public is still a social issue. Through her paintings, Jennifer challenges the representation of the female body in contemporary culture. We have become familiarized to seeing images of glossy, beautiful airbrushed women, with beautiful bodies, sexualised to sell products. Her painting of a woman during pregnancy or moments after giving birth redirects the gaze on the female body from the historical “male gaze”. Her Self Portrait series challenges a popular narrative about women and encourages people to question the way they have become accustomed to thinking about, looking at and seeing the female body.