Reflective Research Journal – 3rd Year – Week Twenty Five

Have been working on my husband stitch film, with I am calling Dr Wolf at the moment. It starts with the birthing woman puppet in a tree (branch attached to the wall), upright, noble and maybe bird like. Then switches to a video moving over the surface of the Pregnancy and the Bad Doctors etching, which has obstetricians played by wolves. This then becomes live action, so to speak, as I am wearing a wolf head and a doctors/lab white coat. I am examining the birthing doll on a table (white, sterile, hospital like setting). I take a pair of pilers and pull the baby out by the head, then man handle the doll like an object and toss her to the back of the table, then I am examining her vagina, post birth and I poke and examine, then toss her away. The music during this is vocal and electronic sounds and has a tension.

I also had one of my natural birth animations playing in the corner of this scene simultaneously, as a juxtaposition to this cold sterile scene but I don’t think it worked, (especially as I had a similar animation at the end) so I took it out.

Then I am in front of the huge vulva from my installation and I pull the birthing doll again from the vagina and toss her aside again in slow motion. Point made, she’s unimportant, a nothing. I then take the giant needle and in speeded up footage, show how to do the husband stitch, as if I am giving a lecture/demonstration. The music changes and is distorted and disturbing, backwards deep vocals and guitar. I made it with bits of my song Little Knives. I took the original chorus line and changed it to:

You take your big fat needle and stitch stitch stitch,

You look the husband in the eye and give a little twitch,

You……..and stitch her real tight,

And you leave her lying ready, legs spread on that bed.

The sound then goes back to being odd and backward and incoherent and the wolf swaggers and displays his work. The footage then changes to the first birth animation I made, before the doll was painted. The active nature birth. The audio becomes gentle, female vocal sounds and bird song and ends. The doll is blank and faceless, disregarded by the patriarchal medical profession, who do not support birth unless it is pathologized. This has led to free-birthing, a movement where woman birth without medical attendants and I am referencing this with the animation at the end. 

The whole film is dealing with consent and violence against women and is darkly comic and brutal and I am hoping I have got the balance right as it’s too disturbing a subject to be too light about. Whether the husband stitch is a real thing or medical accident, there are plenty cases of woman being sewn up too tight by male obstetricians to this day, not to mention all the other obstetric violence that goes on.

I have been finishing and finalising other films, uploading my development videos to YouTube and continuing to add images and video links to my Reflective Research Journal/blog online for assessment. Next semester, I am going to add the images to each blog as I go along, now that I have decided this is the best way to submit.

Trying to decide how I would show the videos as part of the exhibition/installation. This looks very small. In reality it would be the size of an iPad, which would be big enough to see clearly enough, but I think I have opted for having a bigger screen on the white space on the left.  


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