‘Journal of a Miscarriage’ – Blood on the page
Joanne Leonard is an artist whose response to her miscarriage was literally to smear her own blood into her Journal as an act of ‘saving’ that which was escaping from her. These images do not allow us to escape from the reality, which is blood, and the abjection expulsion of the very thing that is so beloved. Miscarriage features as one of the pivotal events in her life and is as important as the birth of her daughter or death of her mother. Some may find these images disturbing, yet I think this is partly because of the taboo nature of issues around menstruation and women’s health. At the time I discovered Leonard’s work I had just experienced my fourth miscarriage) and I found it hugely comforting to see these images. Her book ‘Being in Pictures’ also gives e a wider context for the work and talks about some of the ‘less than favourable’ responses she had within the art world!