Hon was a 26m- (85ft-) long reclining female figure which contained various compartments or rooms. The artist's conceit was that the public entered the sculpture via her vagina - thus re-entering the womb - and exited by the same route - thus symbolically acknowledging her as their mother. Inside the sculpture were various rooms - one, directly within her breasts, contained a milk-bar. Hon was both a nice joke and, simply because of her scale and assertiveness, a clear declaration of new female power in the arts. It is not surprising that the figure has been co-opted as a feminist emblem, though it was not originally intended that it should perform this function.
The most extensive artistic exploration of the artistic and spiritual significance of birth is Judy Chicago's The Birth Project, which dates from 1980 to 1985. Birth Tear/Tear, illustrated, is a statement not about the mystery of birth but about its violence - what it does to the female body. It can be compared to the more literal representation of the same trauma by Jonathan Waller. Chicago chose a generically ' gentle', feminine way of representing this violent act- silk embroidery on top of her own line drawing made on silk. Yet the nature of the materials is contradicted by the swirling lines of force; reminiscent of the work of Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944).