Alice Oliver (b. 1998), is a research-driven visual artist and writer whose practice focuses on our relationships to our surrounding natural landscape, and within a contemporary feminist discourse, provides a retelling of the deeply intimate connections between human and non-human nature. In an ongoing lyrical exploration into the relationship between the ancient landscape surrounding her and photography's materiality, cyclical traces emerge as Alice unveils the natural cycles and suppressed narratives by visualising the rituals of the female body.
Abortion and contraception are by no means modern interventions. For millennia, women have utilised a variety of plants to control and regulate their fertility. To this day, our hedgerows and waysides are still rich with these plants that were once used as emmenagogues and abortifacients, that allowed women to have bodily autonomy.
By unveiling lost narratives, and visualising the rituals of the sexual and reproductive female body, ancient knowledge that was stripped from women, in the face of modern medicine, is revealed. This investigation seeks to awaken us from our latent and patriarchal origins that deemed these skills of caring, healing, and maintaining women’s bodies, a threat to those in power.
Within this interchange between the natural elements, cyclical traces between women, celestial bodies, and the land emerge. Through the use of the powerful flora, alongside the light of the moon to quite literally shed light on our histories. Tying us not only to one another but also to non-human beings we find within nature. Revealing how intrinsically interconnected humans are within the natural processes of the land and the stratosphere beyond.