Milk Portrait #1, 2017, Heather Passmore, Raw milk paint, silkscreen and beeswax on birch panel, 16" x 18" x 1", $500

Original size is 667 × 596 pixels

From a series in progress of women who have covered their faces instead of their breasts in protest to admonishment that they should cover up while nursing in public. Common explanations for discomfort with breastfeeding include milk itself as an abject body fluid, or an inability to view breasts outside the scope of sexual gratification. Yet I see this discomfort strongly tied to the cultural diminishment of human interdependence and intimacy – both of which are severed and obscured by the nursing veil. The milk, the feeding relation and the generative capacities of the female body itself disrupt extant separations between sexuality and maternity, public and private, self and other on which our liberal individualist culture is founded.