The Torso Project This long-term collaborative art project, organized by Julie & Matthew Chase-Daniel, invites pregnant women to create a living legacy of the mystery, magic, and relationship to nature that the pregnant form represents for all of us.
Life cast sculptures of the pregnant torso at full term are being made in editions of three. Two permanent sculptures are created so that one can be given to the mother, and the other can be held by the artists for exhibition. The third is made as an offering - constructed from materials such as mud, straw, indigenous seed, or even ice – and placed in the wilderness, connecting the new family to the place of birth, and honoring nature herself.
The torso sculptures are cast from mother molds prepared in Matthew’s studio after a private plaster belly casting appointment with Julie. Plaster belly casts are quick and safe to make, and can be fun to do as groups or individually. Participation in the project is free of charge.
Julie and Matthew Chase-Daniel have lived in Santa Fe since 1989. Julie is a former birth educator and doula, and the founder of In the Family Way. She is pursuing a doctorate in Consciousness and Transformation from The California Institute of Integral Studies. Matthew is a photographer and sculptor. He has exhibited across the U.S. and abroad.
The first casting for the Torso Project was made of Julie’s belly when pregnant with their son in 1995.
As a program of In the Family Way, the Torso Project seeks to empower and support women, men and children during the transformations evoked by pregnancy and birth. For participants, and through the wilderness placements and public exhibitions, this project compels a new way of experiencing the way we all live as a family of the earth - a new embrace of the raw force of nature and the face of the future as we meet it in the heart of every newborn child.