Natalie Andrew

In the Embryo series I explore unconventional reproduction. Cryptogams, from the Greek word for "hidden marriage", are plants that reproduce without flowers or seeds. The works play with desperation, legacy, hope, growth, and acceptance.

Starting from grainy photographs of failed embryos, I have built living reproductions from mosses, ferns, and slime molds - all cryptogams - and inks made from their spores. These gardens depict aspects of the emotional journey of infertility while providing a contemplative visual experience rooted in components of mythic and folkloric scenery - places where magic can happen.

The Spore; “On paper it’s possible, not likely, but at least possible.” - IVF cycle II. Germinated cryptogam spores (ferns and myxomycetes) on paper, papier mache, paper-clay, felt, foam, plant saucer, water. 6” x 23” x 23”. Video documentation. 2014.

The Believer; “I don’t believe in acupuncture or crystals but if it’s mentioned in the same breath as ‘improves fertility’ I’ll try anything.” - IVF cycle III. Reed basket, cryptogams (mosses), acupuncture needles and applicators, amethyst, citrine, unakite, moss agate, fogger, water, foam, felt. 6” x 23” x 23”. Video documentation. 2014.

The Bump; “In the brief curve of darkening and lightening pink lines, futures I have not allowed myself start to assert themselves.” - IVF cycle IV. Crocheted baby blanket, cryptogams (mosses and liverwort), baby shower party favours, plant saucer, water, pump, fogger, foam, felt. 18” x 30” x 30”. 2014.