Julie & Matthew Chase-Daniel
The Torso Project
This on-going participatory art project, organized by Julie & Matthew Chase-Daniel, invites pregnant women to participate in creating a growing body of pregnant torso sculptures, which have so far been exhibited in Gubbio, Italy, Los Angeles, CA, and locally here in Santa Fe, NM, at Warehouse 21 and Santa Fe Community College.
Life cast sculptures of each mother’s pregnant belly at full term are being made in editions of three. Two permanent sculptures are created with pigmented concrete so that one can be given to the mother, and the other can be held by the artists for exhibition. Constructed from materials such as mud, straw, indigenous seed, or even ice and placed in the wilderness during a small celebration after the birth, the third sculpture is made as an offering to nature where it will gradually merge into the ecosystem, forever connecting the new family to the place of their baby’s birth.
The sculptures are made 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. Born in New Mexico, Julie holds an M.A. from California Institute of Integral Studies and is a former birth educator and doula. She is the founder of In the Family Way and host of http://www.motheringchange.com, an online I Ching divination program rooted in the deep feminine. Matthew is a photographer and sculptor, and the co-founder & co-director of Axle Contemporary, a mobile art space based in Santa Fe, NM. 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 a new way of experiencing the way we all live as a family of the earth.