Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Dec 28, 2014

Cloth Projects: wandering uterus

I am still seeking a way to title these pieces as a whole. I tend to think of them as 'poetry cloth,' but the other day I felt I was working a some of them seem like 'spell cloth' to me.  For now, it is just Cloth.

Here is one finished fairly recently.
it's called wandering uterus, found

My Process
The phrase, 'wandering uterus found' came to me as I was typing stream of consciousness words and phrases on cloth. 
This whole piece unfolded  before me spontaneously. I was simply arranging things and stitching what visually pleased me.
When I stitched down that bright orange sari ribbon, I had no intention of it being a uterine form.  It wasn't until I chose to affix the phrase that I saw the image that way.
 After the phrase found its way (wandered?) onto my project, I looked it up.
 I'm fascinated with the quote from Galen.
From Wikipedia:

Wandering womb was the belief that a displaced uterus was the cause of many medical pathologies in women. The belief originates in the medical texts of ancient Greece, although the belief persisted in European academic medicine for centuries.

The belief in the "wandering womb" was part of the teachings of Hippocrates. A description of the theory of a "wandering womb" is from Aretaeus, a physician from Cappadocia, who was a contemporary of Galen in the 2nd century. He wrote that the uterus could move out of place, and float within the body:
In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax, and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or the spleen, and it likewise is subject to prolapsus downwards, and in a word, it is altogether erratic. It delights also in fragrant smells, and advances towards them; and it has an aversion to fetid smells, and flees from them; and, on the whole, the womb is like an animal within an animal.


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