Marcus Wood

Painting

Hills Valleys and Feeding Bottles

Boat/scoop-shaped moulded glass baby's feeding bottle, late nineteenth century

Bottle Feeding

Ferreting around in a junk shop in Pondicherry South India I came across an ancient baby's bottle.  Researching the object I found it to be a late nineteenth century 'Boat/scoop-shaped moulded glass feeding bottle, with two openings and graduated scale.'  The two openings allowed a rubber teat to be attached at one end and a valve at the other. This allowed a baby to go on feeding continuously without breaking to release the pressure.

The object fascinated me.  Firstly I had a long standing interest in milk as a metaphor within slavery (see my monograph Black Milk) Secondly this curious bottle was such a female archetype, with its rich womanly lines and curves.  It was soft but solid, pneumatic but scientific, transparent but hard, cold to the touch but also quickly warm.  I made a series of miniatures on vellum which fetishised the bottle.  It took on a character of its own and moved through some exotic changes of location and some physical transformations. 

Inhabited Beds and Golden Womb Rain  

 

I made this series of miniatures on terracotta.  They continue my interest in beds as the focus for life, dreaming, sleep, birth, procreation and death. Birth conception and death are combined in beds more often than in any other object, this has to give them fetishistic power. I worked through an old theme, Danae's impregnation.  The scene is, more often than not, set on a bed, certainly that's how Titian saw the union.

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