Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Helen Redman

Nicole Enceinte

Nicole Enceinte

Helen Redman. Nicole Enceinte, 1985.

Nine months pregnant, my daughter Nicole (now 20), is unabashedly sexual in her fullness. Her comfort in her own body and her choosing single motherhood are all being recorded by me. The back-story is hard, but we are both celebrating this numinous moment.

The empathic nature of portraiture, the empathic nature of mother and daughter are joined in this painting. Again I am aware of gaze--hers and mine--direct, female and flamboyant. Together we express the sensuality of her beautiful pregnant body and the sacredness of bringing her child, my grandchild, into life.

Continuing to surround Nicole with opulent patterns, I paint the quilt given to me at her birth. That same quilt (created by my colleague, Radka Donnell) is featured in several paintings of Nicole's development. It symbolizes the sisterhood and handiwork of other women artists while adding the play of baby blocks. I announce the bigness of the moment in lush, vivid color and larger than life-size scale. This is a mantra of empowerment for all of us.


woman, female, sexuality, body image, gaze, portrait, patterns, motherhood, pregnancy

Pregnant Artist Self-PortraitNicole On My LapNicoleNicole EnceinteHot FlashingWilting BloomsOn Our Path

Helen Redman Pioneer of Feminist Art

San Diego, CA


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