A Beautiful Pregnant Woman

December 6th, 2006 by Larry Smith

shroud_swimmer3802.jpgAccidental hobby, budding fetish or personal media art piece? Call my pregnant women series what you want, but there’s no denying the beauty in the shots and the stories of the women here. I was lucky enough to see my friend Lara Swimmer, a Seattle-based photographer who was on the East Coast for a gig shooting the Philadelphia Naval Yards, during her eighth month. A few weeks later, she sent me these photos taken by her friend the artist Iole Alessandrini.

The shots of Swimmer here are part of a larger series called Shroud: Swimmer, and a subset of Alessandrini’s ongoing Shroud project. To model for these photos, Swimmer and her belly moved in and out of Alessandrini’s laser plane during time-exposed photos at the Western Bridge gallery space in Seattle. What you see is what the artist got: no editing tools were used to create these astounding pictures.

“In general, we perceive the physical world in a material way,” Alessandrini says via email. “In contrast, I invite people to physically immerse their bodies in a space made with and shaped by lasers. Through the creative manipulation of light, I create unique aesthetic phenomena, rather than mere illusions, that show, in Whitman’s words, how “much unseen is also here.” By playing with visual perception and direct participation, people see their material body as light itself.”shroud_swimmer3816.jpg

On November 30, 16 days after the photo shoot, Swimmer gave birth to Avery Dorian Zimmer.

Bonus baby! SMITH contributing editor and Treehuggable Meaghan O’Neill has given birth to nearly nine sweet pounds of Nicholas O’Neill Edenbach.