Witch milk: Samantha Sweeting’s lactation narratives

McAra, Catriona (2016) Witch milk: Samantha Sweeting’s lactation narratives. ASAP/Journal. ISSN 2381-4721

Abstract

This illustrated paper explores embodied storytelling in the work of interdisciplinary artist Samantha Sweeting (b.1982). Sweeting’s work is characterised by reference to biblical Madonna and child imagery, nursery rhymes and fairytales e.g. Perrault’s ‘Donkeyskin’ which Sweeting visually rewrites from a feminist standpoint. In 2007-2011, Sweeting produced a controversial body of work in which she allowed various animals to suckle directly from her breasts. With reference to the legacies of French feminist theory (especially Kristeva and Cixous), I argue that Sweeting corporealises the fairytale in a way that opens it up to contemporary debates around the maternal body as a political site.

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