Birth Rites Collection

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Ping Qiu, 2008, Terracotta, varying dimensions


In April 2007 Ping Qiu spent a month at The Farm in Tennessee with Ina May Gaskin, lay midwife, writer, activist and author of the 1970’s cult text, Spiritual Midwifery. Ping spent many hours with Ina May talking about her experiences as a midwife and looking through the catalogue of photographs she has collected over the years. Ping witnessed a birth and attended a weeklong course for student midwives at The Farm.


Ping and Ina May’s practices converge over their contemplation of the innate sensuality of the human form and their openness and playfulness with the female body. To that end, Ping has reproduced Ur-form, a family grouping of ceramic vessels made during a month long residency at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. These works resonate with archaic imagery of fertility goddesses.