Rebecca Baillie is an art historian who has always practiced as an artist alongside conducting research and writing. Awarded a PhD in 2012, her academic specialism lies in the study of melancholia, surrealism and its legacies, and the maternal body in visual culture. In her artwork she uses photography, drawing and sculpture – whichever medium best supports the current idea. She is the curator of MaMSIE's online visual library (http://mamsie.org/visual-library/), and has published a variety of writings in the journal, Studies in the Maternal. She is currently a dissertation supervisor at Kingston University, as well as freelance writer and curator. She lives, writes and makes artwork from a small house in East London.
My Sun and Guided by the Moon (2012) show the heavily pregnant artist with her swollen belly covered in gold and silver leaf. The work is suggestive that the connectivity experienced by an expectant mother, extends outwards, even as far as her relationship with the cosmos. The 'sun' portrait was taken on a bright September morning, and its partner image, the following October, on the night of a full moon. Female cycles and the importance of time passing during a pregnancy are referenced. Interestingly, bearing in mind that the artist gave birth to a son in November, creating the 'moon' portrait felt like a familiar, empowering and yet isolated expression of selfhood, whilst the 'sun/son' version exuded the energy of a collaboration, and stimulated feelings of joy, liberation and potentiality. By seeming contradiction, the boy was born on a full moon, exactly a month to the day that Guided by the Moon was taken.