CREATE: The Art of Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond, is a free art exhibition developed by the HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network, currently taking place around the campus of University Hospital Galway in conjunction with Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust. CREATE spotlights pregnancy and newborn journeys, the people who make them, and the research that impacts them. The exhibition runs until 28 February 2019.
The pregnancy and neonatal journey can be beautiful and scary, joyous and heartbreaking. It can be miraculous, frustrating, sought after or unexpected. It can be straightforward, or it can wind and twist through our lives. We think of it as nine months, but it can be years of trying. It can end unexpectedly. It can resonate for decades afterwards.
Every single pregnancy and neonatal journey is unique.
In this exhibition, the HRB Mother and Baby Clinical Trial Network – a network of obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and related professionals brought together to carry out research on women’s and children’s health – hope to highlight common pregnancy and newborn health issues and celebrate the impact of perinatal research on mothers and babies in Ireland and internationally.
The exhibition touches on topics like perinatal mental health, bereavement and pregnancy loss, IVF, prematurity, labour and birth experiences, and breastfeeding, as well as exploring how health research helps women and newborns.
The exhibition provides a safe, non-judgmental space to explore these issues and listen, through new and existing artworks, to the experiences of women and the doctors, midwives and researchers who care for them.
The official launch will take place on Monday 18 February at 6.30 pm in the STEM Café, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland (part of Galway Hospital Campus).
Some of the exhibition’s highlights include:
- The Other Side: A new work by Emma Sheridan that deals with her own experiences of perinatal mental health issues. A self-portrait of sorts that captures how she felt following the birth of her first child – the exhaustion, the doubts, the terror.
- The Children’s Remembrance Tree: A striking and colourful collaborative community project, led by the Bereavement team in Cavan Hospital. During a remembrance service in 2015, families were given colourful beads to hold on to – as a physical symbol of the baby or child families were there to remember, the grief they carried and the uniqueness of each story. After the service, the beads were collected and over the following three months were sewn onto the fabric by a local craft group with help from friends and family. The Tree, its branches, and its falling vibrant leaves, represents strength, family, the fragility of life, and the sense of belong to a community and the support that brings.
- Everyday Breastfeeding: This series of simple, black and white, hanging illustrations by Fiona Carey depicts everyday experiences of breastfeeding – the lovely, chaotic, precious, mundane, lived reality of it. Rarely do we see images of breastfeeding fitting in with work, family, exhaustion, eating, resting, socialising, travelling, sleeping, life. These illustrations portray modern women’s relationships to breastfeeding, as part of their modern lives, capturing the ordinary and extraordinary, the mundane and magical.
The full list of artworks and events is available at hrb-mbctni.ie/create
Artworks are featured in:
Hospital Main Foyer
Art Corridor in the main hospital building
Maternity Corridor, leading to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Maternity wards
First floor of the Clinical Sciences Institute
Reception in the Clinical Research Facility
Lobby of the Lambe Institute building, beside the STEM Cafe.
For further information on the exhibition at Galway University Hospital:
email firstname.lastname@example.org or ph. 091 544979
For more information on CREATE, contact Cormac McAdam:
email@example.com or 01 402 2548
This exhibition is supported by the Health Research Board through their Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Award which aims to maximize the uptake of research findings into policy and practice.