GRANT #434:


This Mixed Media Project Immerses You In PPMD. Say What?

You’ve heard of the Baby Blues? Postpartum depression? The first two Ps of PPMD come from Postpartum, meaning “after you have a baby.” The MD is for Mood Disorders. Post-Part is an inter-arts project designed to recreate the experience of postpartum mood disorders. PPMD might be a sensitive subject, and you might not want to dive into this interactive experience. But mixed media collage artist Catherine Mellinger, sound designer Adam Harendorf, web designer Nat Janin, and web developer Stephen Weber hope you’ll be curious about Post-Part.

There’s so much more to PPMDs, and most people don’t know. Using collage, illustration, audio composition, and RGB color technology (we looked that up, it stands for Red-Green-Blue but we don’t understand it), Post-Part reveals the stories that are hard to discuss.

As it was originally presented to the public, the exhibition consisted of a room covered in wallpaper featuring a 19th-Century-inspired brocade design. Beneath the design was a ‘hidden’ collage mosaic. Viewers could see what was under there by looking through a hand-held blue gel. The soundtrack was created using the stories of parents who had experienced PPMDs, over-layered with piano, music box and crying babies.

Post-Part’s lead artist Catherine Mellinger will exhibit the work again in May 2021, this time in Kitchener-Waterloo (Canada), coinciding with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. An outdoor walking exhibit of Post-Part will feature windows at supporting city organizations. They’ll show the wallpaper, along with QR codes that lead to websites that include short films, audio compositions, and testimony about birthing experiences from many diverse voices. Our AWB grant will help with thewindow vinyls and outfitting each display with a QR code placard.

Here’s their interactive website; you can look at the wallpaper, and be aware it contains material that’s for mature adults.