Alex Florschutz, MA

alex@florschutz.com 07787 122157 www.florschutz.com
Alex’s life and artwork explores the meaning of the Feminine and aims to challenge and create a new dialogue in this area. ‘Affirming the root of Feminine power within myself and inspiring others, permeates everything I do and all that I represent.

BIOGRAPHY

Alex is a practicing Artist, Author and Curator and has an MA in Art Psychotherapy, exhibiting extensively in the UK and abroad, curating many personal and community exhibitions. She is renowned for her beautiful evocative paintings, her use of tactile media, film, photography, her infamous Pink Tent Installation and is a published author. Alex’s life and work explores the meaning of the Feminine and aims to challenge and create a new dialogue in this area. In 2016 Alex co-curated and participated in the art and science exhibition in Parliament responding to the 1001 Critical Days Cross Party Manifesto and is now continuing this work under the new name Zero2 Expo.

 

My artwork expresses these themes which include feminine sexuality, cycles, birth as a rite of passage, and our intuitive, creative expression. These themes are reflected symbolically in different ways, including the Spiral, Lotus flower and Divine Source™. I am renowned for my beautiful Divine Source™ paintings, use of tactile media and the infamous Pink Tent Installation.

My paintings, whether abstract or representational, follow an intuitive process beginning with a particular evocative colour mood and out of this colour infusion the nascent image or symbols evolve. They often combine a variety of tactile media which is not only a pleasurable experience but allows the viewer to enter into a world of deep colour, sparkles and magic.

Painting is a meditation. Once I get into the ‘zone’ and the energy flows, I allow the process to take me on an intuitive journey resulting in spontaneous and deliberate acts of creation. My art is usually described as vibrant, colourful, luminous, evocative, sensual, passionate, meaningful, symbolic, emotive and darn right juicy! I live to inspire, empower and celebrate the Feminine.

I am on a journey to rediscover the Source of a woman’s power, the feminine spirit, which thrived in the more female oriented cultures, only to be superseded by the patriarchal way of life. I wonder how women can retain the true nature of their gender while navigating our masculine driven world. My desire for women to become integrated in self knowledge, acceptance and love is paramount. I believe this integration can happen when women live in choice, respecting their body and mind and pleasurably celebrate their life.

 

My glass sculpture ‘Life Before Birth’ reminds us that there is a Human Being developing, taking shape, creating its identity and uniqueness, behind the belly of a pregnant woman. The heart starts to beat in the first few weeks after conception, the brain is building its neuropathways and the cellular memory is storing data while the silent, invisible story forms within us. Creating a harmonious ‘womb environment’ in pregnancy is desirable to enable the best outcome for the infant. Preparing for the Birth, the transition from womb to world, which is a defining right of passage, not only for the mother but it is the infants first experience of life. Therefore, I think pregnancy and birth need be treated with the sanctity it deserves.

Pregnancy and birth is a deeply instinctual experience and part of nature spanning millions of years, an art with which we are rapidly losing touch. How do we reconnect back to the ancient natural life cycles of the human being and translate them, in a positive way, to our time? There needs to be adequate support for women to get back in touch with our intuitive side, which can be achieved by exploring our non verbal and unconscious psyche. There are many different perspectives to each woman’s life, our circumstances and our past, so one can never generalise or portray a ‘one glove fits all’ picture. However, if we re-establish a relationship with our deeper selves, with nature, the spiritual or mystical and not just the physical and medical side of pregnancy and birth, then the journey to motherhood might be less stressful for both mother and baby and for families in general. We can begin to heal the current paradigm if we integrate science/technology AND the holistic mind, body, spiritual approach to bring about much needed balance.

 

The Art of Birth – Discovering your Inner Wisdom

I’ve had life-long experience supporting people with their emotional and psychological healing, due to being raised in a medical environment from the age of five. My greatest passion is supporting women liberate their Feminine power through creative expression, particularly during pregnancy, through individual or group sessions. 

I started the Art of Birth to offer individual sessions and groups to pregnant women to explore their journey to motherhood in a creative, supportive environment. My book, The Art of Birth – Empower yourself for Conception, Pregnancy and Birth, is an extension of this work. 

Do you desire to overcome the fear of Birth?
Do you desire to trust the Feminine Wisdom of your body?
Do you wish to celebrate your birth as an amazing rite of passage?
The Art of Birth reveals the lost Secrets that will empower you to move beyond fear and create the pregnancy and birth you desire!

Imagine a world where birth was a natural, gentle and pleasurable experience. After you have read The Art of Birth you will have the tools to manifest this possibility.

The Art of Birth weaves together expert coaching with an artistic journey into a feminine world of Art, art exercises, relaxation, positive affirmations, inner work, meditation, emotional support and pleasure, where the dream of a natural, empowered journey to motherhood and a positive birth experience can become a new reality.

For one to one sessions or groups, do get in touch Here 

www.theartofbirth.co.uk 

 

 

 

The Full Story

I have always believed that children come to this earth not only for their own personal journey of self-discovery and service to the world but to teach the previous generations. They invite us to grow beyond what we know and to be better versions of ourselves. They communicate to us from the moment they are conceived, if we are prepared to listen with loving ears.

Through my art, training in psychotherapy and other forms of therapy and my work, I have witnessed time and again the human struggle to find a sense of self, which is usually caused by childhood experiences. Psychology has always believed that consciousness begins around the age of three, which I used to think was bizarre as surely our birth is our first experience of life! I went on to study birth psychology, gaining insight into my own birth experience and how the gesture of that experience shows up in my life.

At the age of thirty, after many adventures, my life seemed to find its path. In 1998 I moved to Bali where I married and conceived my son although I gave birth in the UK. This was the catalyst for my major life change. Since then I have explored many aspects of birth, read extensively what leading experts in the field have to say about pre- and perinatal psychology, learned from my practical experience with clients and groups, and healed my own personal birth story. 

My research is underpinned by the marriage of two cultures, East and West. It has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding about being a woman in today’s world where pregnancy, birth and motherhood are not valued as they once were. Women have all the physical and most of the emotional responsibility for birth, an enormous life-changing task, and yet they receive very little support or validation for this role. In the West, birth is seen as painful, potentially traumatic or even dangerous and, at times, these assumptions become a self-fulfilling prophesy. What I experienced in Bali was the complete opposite of this picture.

I explored this in my book The Art of Birth, where I invite us to consider the possibility that pregnancy, birth and parenting can happen in gentle and conscious ways that can change the world for future generations. Birth is potentially the most sacred, positive and wonderful experience in the world, perhaps in part because it involves our full participation, energy and focus. By harnessing the creative process of pregnancy through expressive art-forms, and/or meditation, it is possible to release thoughts and feelings that if buried may hinder the natural flow of pregnancy and birth, allowing them gently to come to the surface and be expressed in a safe, non-judgemental way. I feel strongly about encouraging personal change so we can begin to create a new birth model by raising the consciousness that birth is the most fundamental experience of our lives.

The experience of birth has a profound impact on both mother and baby. It is now recognised that it also affects the father who is of equal importance. Although we may not be consciously aware of how our own birth shapes us, we are certainly influenced by it at cellular and unconscious levels. Birth creates a blueprint for our development. We take in an enormous amount of information during the first days and weeks of life, which in turn has a major effect on the ways in which we experience and respond to circumstances and people in our life. We have a large amount of technical/medical support for pregnancy and birth, yet offer very little emotional support for an expectant mother and father. Pregnancy is a time of change in all respects, yet it is rarely acknowledged as being anything but a medical procedure. Current research by leading experts indicates that difficult experiences during pregnancy not only affect the neurodevelopment of the foetus but also diminish the mother’s wellbeing and ability to give birth. Pregnancy may act as a trigger that recalls difficult life experiences, which can then manifest as emotional obstacles, but there is limited support or outlet for these experiences. Luckily, science has shown that healing our personal stories or life circumstances can have a hugely positive impact on all aspects of our life, our babies health and wellbeing and how we perform as parents. 

My journey to motherhood reawakened my intuitive, instinctual nature and enabled me to become a more conscious human being. This was shaped by two completely different cultures which I could compare and contrast as I sought to create a new way of birthing and parenting. 

I was deeply moved by the way pregnancy, birth and children were regarded in Bali. The Balinese feel a spiritual connection which allows them to trust in the process of life. Birth has always been a rite of passage for the mother, as well as the baby. The mother is conscientious about her role as bearer of new life because the Balinese believe babies come from the land of the gods. Women aspire to conceive and are revered by the community. The mother takes it easy, resting a great deal and going about her duties in a slow methodical manner. Mothers look after their health, eat well, avoid stimulants, are mindful of their thoughts and rest as much as they can – even if at work. 

Once the baby is born she is constantly held by the mother and later on by members of the family to ensure that she feels safe and attached. The Balinese believe that children are not only raised by the family but the whole community. Until the baby is about seven months old, the family never allow her feet to touch the ground or leave her unattended. The baby sleeps with the parents for many years and is never without physical contact. As the child comes from the spiritual world, her descent onto the earth must be a gradual and respectful one. The mother stays at home (in the first instance for 40 days), being relieved of her household and work duties, nursing the baby and relaxing while the family members look after the mother’s needs. The mother enables a secure attachment for the infant, caring for her every whim and the father and the extended family encircle the mother and infant and look after their needs. This support system ensures no one goes without care and support. 

This glimpse of a much more complex system allows us to see why Balinese children are so happy and easy going; they have not had to use their time and energy in self-protective mechanisms in order to survive. Unfortunately this picture is changing as Western practices slowly pollute the old ways. My experience of the old traditions awakened my desire to raise my son along similar lines, by trusting my intuition and not being afraid to give him the attention he required. The traditional intuitive, secure, conscious way of pregnancy, birth and parenting has just about expired in the West. Pregnancy and birth have been medicalised; parents are encouraged to be more detached, for fear of spoiling the child. Judging by my experiences in Bali, providing a continual attachment does not create a spoilt child, it creates a secure child. 

Fortunately, there are signs of some shifts in these western attitudes. It seemed natural that I became pregnant in Bali and felt very safe and secure. I had no tests, interventions or scans as I totally trusted my body and my pregnancy and it never occurred to me that I would need to have a doctor to tell me that everything was “normal”. I received a “template” from the Balinese on how I wanted my child to be born and raised. However, events took another turn when my husband and I decided to move back to England when I was six months pregnant. I was met by a force field of negativity which quickly propelled me to seek an alternative picture. I researched a myriad of holistic approaches to pregnancy and birth and was lucky to already have a built-in holistic/spiritual outlook to life. However, none of this immunised me from my new found fear of birth. I joined a therapeutic birth preparation class, read many books, explored natural therapies, and found a support network. In Bali, I had passively received an empowering message through the ether that the cycle of life was safe, easy and a cause for celebration even under difficult circumstances. In the UK I needed actively to engage with my inner world of thoughts and feelings in order to overcome my fears and learn to trust my own body’s ability to birth my baby safely. In the end, this protected me from the barrage of negative messages about “what could go wrong” (which of course sometimes it does). 

My parenting journey has not been straightforward. If we want to change and do things differently, we often encounter resistance, through which our will to change is tested. I have been dedicated to healing my own shortcomings and being the best parent I could possibly be. My son, who was born at home by candlelight, is now 18 and is a shining example of a child who was raised with a listening ear, his needs being met, and the true meaning of unconditional love (which means he is allowed to be himself whether I approve or not!) 

We cannot revert to the passive parenting roles of bygone years; rather, we need to adapt and transform attitudes of cultures like Bali for our time. We need to re-learn our enjoyment of our children and to see the role of the parent as one of the most important jobs in the world. A more balanced work/parenting approach is needed, which could also allow for a greater role for the father. There needs to be a shift in consciousness that values the role of parents where they both feel valued and as a result gives them more emotional and financial support. Workplaces too need to be more supportive to parents who want to be with their children. 

This long term project aims to inspire sustainable improvements in the mental and physical health of future generations. Our hope is that it will contribute indirectly to a reduction in public sector spending at other stages of life, as well as improving mental and physical health and reducing behavioural and emotional disorders throughout life.

Our mission is to increase general public awareness of the key issues and importance of the first 1001 critical days and to inspire changes that help to create a world where parents feel supported and every child has the best possible start in life.

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