Throughout 2017 and 2018, Heather Passmore has been collaborating with Malaspina Printmaker Val Loewen to produce a series of prints and paintings. Milk Portraits is 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 this discomfort is strongly tied to the cultural diminishment of human interdependency and intimacy—both of which are severed and obscured by the nursing veil. Breast Milk Paintings are large non-representational paintings created from outdated breast milk.
Heather Passmore (b. 1977) is a mixed media artist based in Vancouver. She holds a master of fine arts from the University of British Columbia. Her practice reconfigures painting, drawing, and photography with socio-historically laden materials. Passmore has completed three international artist residencies and nine public artworks both locally and abroad. She is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. Her work is held in many private and official public collections. Selected solo exhibitions include Harcourt House (Edmonton), Malaspina Printmakers (Vancouver), AKA Gallery (Saskatoon), Populus Tremula (Akureyri, Iceland), The New Gallery (Calgary), Babel Art Space (Trondheim, Norway), Struts Gallery (Sackville, Canada), Gallery 101 (Ottawa), Richmond Art Gallery (Canada), and The Odd Gallery (Dawson City, Canada).