Every expectant parent knows the excitement of seeing their growing baby on an ultrasound scan.
But while the grainy black-and-white images are a special memento of a new life, they’re mostly hidden away in a safe place and rarely seen again.
Eleven years ago, Laura Steerman, who had worked as an energy regulation advocate, decided to paint scan photos of her daughter after a strained pregnancy.
The bright and colorful abstract work caught the attention of friends, and it wasn’t long before she was commissioned to create similar pieces for others.
Five years later, she left the legal world and became a full-time artist.
Now she has just completed Ireland’s first embryology art collection for one of the country’s best-known IVF clinics.
The one-of-a-kind artwork that adorns the walls at Sims IVF in Clonskeagh, South Dublin and Cork will soon be on display at the company’s clinic in Swords, having been well received by customers.
Since creating the first painting of her daughter’s scan, the Dublin native, who has three children, has created 1,500 works for clients around the world and says “no two stories are the same”.
“Each painting I create is an original, hand-painted piece of abstract art that captures a journey and pregnancy experience with the personality of each baby and family,” she said.
“Her artworks tell her story in a unique, colorful and creative way.
“And when I’m working with a hospital or clinic like Sims, we spend a lot of time planning pieces for public display.
“The overall goal of the paintings is to capture the process by which an egg is fertilized, cells divide and grow into a blastocyst before being implanted in the uterus – it’s a way of instilling hope in patients in a colorful way.” and to offer the clinics some interesting works of art.
“But although I paint in an abstract way, it is important to me to understand and respect the intricate details in ultrasound or embryoscope images when capturing a client’s story on canvas.”
Creating a new life is a big story in every parent’s life, but during the pandemic, expectant mothers have had to attend scans alone due to the risk of spreading Covid-19. This led to greater popularity of Mrs. Steerman’s art.
“Interest in my work has certainly increased during the pandemic,” she said.
“I got customers who were partners who couldn’t visit us
during prenatal scans, families and friends unable to travel to visit loved ones after having a baby, and families going through IVF, surrogacy or adoption procedures that were interrupted or delayed due to restrictions.
“I’ve also had assignments from bereaved families and parents who have felt incredibly isolated without the support of meeting others.
“Painting ultrasound images, embryos and other images related to fertility and pregnancy is very emotional.
“There are few things more intimate and personal than fertility, pregnancy and parenthood.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/solicitor-quit-her-job-to-transform-ultrasound-photos-into-vibrant-works-of-embryo-art-41917179.html The lawyer quit her job to turn ultrasound photos into living works of “embryo art.”