Updated: Feb 7
Connections To The Fierce Women Who Went Before Us!
Christelle came to Bali for a holiday and decided to book in for a maternity shoot with us! She brought a hand woven baby carrier and some other accessories to the shoot and stated that they were inspired by the art traditions of her ancestors who were from Africa. Her history and her family's history, she carries with her and is affected by it in many ways. The trail of Christelle's ancestors continues with the new life she carries inside of her.
With the knowledge that your grandmother carried you in her womb as a tiny egg that developed inside your mother when she was inside your grandmother our connections appear closer. We are constructed in this society as what it is to be female with feminine embellishments. We are taught to conform to what is expected of a girl, a woman in this society. We follow the rules that are given to us. Following the guide of how to conform as a female, we grow it seems and sometimes move away, maybe becoming different somehow, however remaining conformed to what is expected. We are educated, worldly, cultured and have a life far removed from our mothers it would seem.
We manage to carve an existence far removed from where we came from. Feeling different seperate, individual and then whether its a sound a smell a hint of something encouraging an emotion a feeling we are aware there is a connection to our past and a connection to something else, an awareness, a connection to something beyond what we are seen as.
With the knowledge we come from a long line of women who were warriors against adversity, against poverty, through wars, through enslavement, through abuse. With a hushed voice they brought us here. Did they have these spiritual, knowing connections, to the earth, to nature, to the spirits? We arrived here today with this long trail of women who nurtured loved and fought so hard to bring us into this place now. We all have a story and they are all different, but in many ways they are the same. We all carry the struggle within us in some way in some form.
You are not an island, seperate, you are connected to those who went before and to those who will come in the future. Your ancestors gave you DNA. You carry their struggle their joy , their ability to nurture in this DNA, but also the connections they had to the wild universe in what ever way you want to explain it. When you realise how you are connected on many levels including spiritual and physical you cant possibly be an island or seperate from what and who went before you. Know that those who went before nurture you from the past as you will to those in the future. With this series of portraits I want to explore who we are and who and where we come from. Our connections to the fierce wild women of our pasts.
“We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Photos above are from
A Photoshoot in Bali with Christelle from Mauritius.
Christelle comes from one of the Umbuntu tribes of Southern Africa. Her ancestors were stolen from Africa and taken to Mauritius. Christelle is now living in Australia. She studies law and is a passionate human rights activist. With one child already, we did this shoot with her second on the way.
With a strong connection to her original roots in Africa Christelle is keen to go there and trace where her ancestors came from. Christelle is here today as a bubbly, beautiful human with so much to give and share. Her beautiful hand woven baby wrap was made by Louise MacDonald, the design being a collaboration between Louise and Christelle inspired by the art from Christelle's heritage. We decided in this shoot the wrap and the portrait significantly represent the trail of her ancestors. Her baby will be swaddled in the nurturing energy that is passed down from them!