Vanessa Woods uses the birth of her children as the genesis for Vestiges (2017–), an ongoing, multidisciplinary project exploring the maternal body and experience of motherhood. Her photographs, photograms, photographic collages, artist books, sculpture, and 16mm film interrogate fundamental questions about the complexities of motherhood, with its profound connections to identity, boundaries, and mortality. Vestiges is informed by anthropologist Dana Raphael’s idea of “matrescence” from Being Female: Reproduction, Power, and Change (1975), a term that offers a nuanced reading of the transition to motherhood and the wide-ranging psychological and physical changes brought on by this change. Woods investigates one mother’s tensions and paradoxes while reflecting on the equivocal journey of the maternal body itself. Her project examines how the maternal perspective can inform or reshape the current discourse around identity and gender in contemporary art.