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A heavily-tattooed domestic abuse survivor has posed naked as the Virgin Mary while breastfeeding her son for a photo series that aims to prove being a mother and a sexually-empowered woman do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Leah, who became a mother after getting out of an abusive relationship, was photographed by New York-based photographer Reka Nyari, 39, as part of her 'Ink' project.
Images - Shots - Leah - Toddler - Son
The incredible images include intimate shots of Leah sitting down and breastfeeding her toddler son on her lap with a halo above her head as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
For the past three years, Reka has been working on her 'Ink' series, which depicts 'incredible, extremely tattooed women and their life stories.'
Photographer - Series - Motherhood - Breastfeeding - Over-sexualization
The photographer said she became interested in shooting a series about motherhood, breastfeeding, and the over-sexualization of the female body after she gave birth to her own daughter.
As a new mother, Reka found that breastfeeding is still a taboo, especially when it is done in public or involves a toddler.
Mother - Ink - Series - Woman - Character
'The "Mother Ink" series portrays a young, tattooed woman, who's taken on the character of the Virgin Mary, the ultimate symbol of motherhood and love,' she explained.
Reka said she messaged Leah and asked her to be the subject of her newest project after seeing photos of the mom on Instagram.
'She - Baby - Son - Photographer - Life
'She is heavily tattooed, recently had a baby, and was breastfeeding her son,' the photographer said. 'She's got a very unique life story of leaving an abusive relationship and being a single mother.'
The artist said she begins each of her series by getting to know her subject's life story. They spend a few months talking and writing to each other before planning and researching the shoot.
Aim - Story
'I aim for each story to be as authentic as possible, while visually engaging and...
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