Do I look like a seahorse? 

Balloons, Threads, Paper, and Water colors 

Dimensions variable


“Do I look like a seahorse?!” is an going research/project about the complexity of Motherhood and how women undergo the psychological, physical and social dimensions of it especially in the Arab region. It focuses on the social comprehension of birth and maternal life, addressing themes like; attachment, sacrifice, devotion, and guilt. It aims to introduce a new concept about mothers rebelling away from society’s stereotypes, where restrictions are put and perfection is demanded. At the same time, it investigates how the image of the holy mother derives its place from societal constraints and norms that diminish its rights as an individual.

The research composition is based on several phases that are not consecutive but parallel; how the body being affected during pregnancy and post-partum and how women receive these changes, the healing process of this wrecking. How the society deal with post-partum depression and how it reflects on women. Also the relation between motherhood and nature; where women are considered landscapes and observers at the same time. While on the social side, the research search about the image of the mother as a concept presented by society through observations to the media, personal experiences , ideal mothers competitions that reflects the social comprehension to being a mother in the Arab region.  While on the contrary, laws and work rights that are set up contradicts with the presented picture of mothers.

One of the tools I use in my research is recording “Conversations” with mothers trying to reveal the invisible side of their experiences which is hidden to portray the image of “The ideal mother”. As the one of the aims of the project is to act as a safe space where new image is being exposed and introduced. Mothers are supposed to create an object expressing herself and her experience, where these object are photographed and archived.

The wrecking and healing of postnatal body exhibition part of "Too much here and barely there" project curated by Annabel Kanaar, Amsterdam, 2019

Paper , Thread , Balloons and Water colors


Variable Dimensions



13.5*18 cm

12*12 cm

 © 2020 by Rania Atef 

 Cairo, Egypt

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     Rania ATEF