Brooklyn artist, activist, feminist and cosmology lover C Bangs delivered 'fpseedsfetus' in my FB feed, sharing news of her group show 'Plant Cure' at CENTRAL BOOKING Art Space, 21 Ludlow Street ~ New York, NY 10002 ~ 347-731-6559 ~ B/D to Grand Street in collaboration with The New York Academy of Medicine.
You can visit 'Plant Cure' until Oct. 29, 2017 and please note the Art & Science Panel, 'The Roots of Plant Cures': Friday, October 13, 6pm. Moderator: Anne Garner, Curator, The New York Academy of Medicine. The catalogue is of great interest as an artists review.
My senses were drenched with sensual beauty upon seeing C's 'fpseedsfetus', before reading the story behind the art. C is married to one of my oldest friends in New York, prompting me to share her work here on AOC. C tells the story behind the 'Plant Cure Show'.
C Bangs, 'Plant Cure' at CENTRAL BOOKING Art Space
"My artist’s residency at The New York Academy of Medicine in collaboration with CENTRAL BOOKING Art Space began February 21, 2017 with five other artists who exhibit their work at CB Art Space. “The directive from CB Art Space were to “Just to be clear, though your references will come from the books in the collections, your artwork need not be in book form. And feel free to produce more than one work as well, even installations are welcome as we will have more space than usual for this exhibition.”
After the orientation I went to the Library on February 28 and began my research initially photographing images from a botanical book. Returning to my studio and uploading the images from my phone I found that the image of the Flowering Pavonis aka Caesalpinia pulcherrima was a striking flower that I began to research. After the painful election of the current administration and the threats to cut the budget to Planned Parenthood as well as the attacks on the environment I became more interested in focusing my work around this plant.
The following are quotes from The History of Abortifacients by Stassa Edwards 11/18/14:
The story of the peacock flower is a microcosm of a larger history of abortifacients: knowledge passed from woman to woman, often outside the boundaries of traditional medical discourses and, therefore, forever confined to a moral realm of danger and superstition. But despite hundreds of years of legal and religious repression, the abortifacient endured, proving that the desire for reproductive freedom is not nearly as modern as some argue.
The history of abortifacients is a narrative that parallels and informs our own contemporary debates over them, particularly in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision. It's a history that has always been mired in the murky waters of what exactly an abortifacient is; what constitutes life, and when does it begin? But it's also a story of the incredible flexibility of legal systems that found ever-new and astonishing ways to suppress reproductive freedom.
Abortifacients are nearly as old as the written word itself, as early as 1085, when Constantine the African included iris, rue, willow and stinking ferula as effective herbs for inducing menses. Even before that, Muhuammed ibn Zakariya Al-Razi described a cinnamon, rue, and wallflower broth for similar purposes in a text dating between 865-925.
Abortifacients were mixed and were, it seems, readily available through midwives or "wise women" throughout the Roman era. There were few laws governing their use, in large part because of the broader sense at the time of when a pregnancy actually began. The determination of pregnancy was left to the woman, who would not have been considered pregnant until she actually declared herself so. Such determination almost always came after the quickening (when a woman actually feels fetal movement), which can occur anywhere between 14 and 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
My investigation included the work of Maria Sibylla Merian, a botanical illustrator who, in her 1705 book Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam wrote that slave women used the seeds of the plant to abort pregnancies after being raped by their owners.
The month before I accompanied my husband, Dr. Gregory Matloff to a solar sail conference in Kyoto, Japan where on a sight seeing trip I encountered a candy shop where artists’ sculpted candy in wildly varied images and colors. Watching the entire process of sculpting the brightly colored sugar into the form of an orange haired man with a characteristic trumpian hair style. At the end I and the other women who viewed the process were given pieces of the candy with the image that ranged in size from 1.5” to .04” in diameter. This was a bitter-sweet moment because in them referencing our presence and before the inauguration I was the recipient of several intricately formed pieces of our soon to be president. As I painted my panels I decided to include all of the candy onto the first panel in the form of a protest for what it stood for and in response to the right women have to determine the course of their lives. Appropriately the untreated candy has begun to flake and deteriorate reflecting the current administration."
C Bangs: Merging Art & Science
Bangs enjoys a long love of cosmology, expressed exquisitely in her gift for merging art & science. C is also an interpreter, taking complex scientific topics and bringing them to life through visualization. I've included several examples of this work, devoted to her love of cosmology. Review all of C's art and her portfolio on her website C Bangs
Dr. Gregory Matloff
C mentioned her husband Dr. Gregory Matloff, (see website) one of my oldest friends in New York. Greg's intellect and passion for astronomy was always breathtaking and never more so than today. You can read two of his recent articles as a sampling of the ideas and futuristic visions that bind C and Greg together in a wonderful relationship that fires on all cylinders -- on Earth and beyond. C and Greg share a mutual website for STAR BRIGHT?.
Call me inspired. ~ Anne
Is the Universe Conscious? NBC News