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    Bellies radiate from around the navel. The navel is a remnant of our connection to our mother. The umbilicus was a conduit of exchange- nutrition and waste between the fetus and mother. The nerve endings which once communicated with our mothers' bodies remain in our navels after the umbilical is cut. The navel is Chinese acupuncture point CV 8 Shen Que or Spirit Gate. In Japanese martial arts traditions, the word Hara is used as a technical term for a specific area (physical/anatomical) or energy field (physiological/energetic) of the body. In American culture, the size of one's belly is the focus of attention, conflict and effort. Attempts to regulate the size and contents of the belly drive a significant part of our country's economy.

     Those who have had near-death experiences often tell of floating above their bodies. Some describe their floating awareness tethered to the physical body a by silver cord. Often, this spectral umbilicus is described as being connected to the navel of the nearly departed physical body.

The gut is host to an immense number of bacteria. Our bodies ally with a host of organisms contained in the digestive system. The gut-based network of neurons is the region of instinctual feeling. This interaction between bacteria and neorons is referred to  “the second brain”. Scientists continue to study the influence of the interaction of the gut biome has on human mood and behavior.  In this body of work, I use the form of the belly as an symbolic platform to discuss different kinds of consumption: food, information, substances, opinions.

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