I am an artist and over the last five years breastfeeding has been inspiration for my artwork. I am also a mum, breastfed both my daughters and feel passionately that this maternal act is not showcased in our society in the celebratory way it should. So I took it upon myself to paint women breastfeeding their babies and children in artwork I call breastfeed - Portraits with Purpose. I have painted over 20 women with breastfeeding as the focal point of the portraits. The artwork are super sized, the largest being 4 foot by 6 foot- big, celebratory and ever present, displaying connection and maternal love.
I have toured this exhibition up and down the country to community spaces, universities and art galleries with great success and positive feedback. (this is a self funded project, I have received no payment or funding for doing this).
I have now decided the portraits need a permanent home, where they can benefit more women and the wider community, highlighting breastfeeding in a positive light. I am now crowdfunding to help raise funds in order to gift 13 original portraits to appropriate venues across the UK, aiming to raise £13k, to cover transportation costs (petrol, van hire & driver), materials, packaging and printing costs; averaging £1000 per location.
Through a nomination process set out earlier this year 12 venues have been selected to receive an original breastfeeding portrait to display. The selection process was carried out by myself and a committee of professionals.
The chosen venues are (in no particular order):
1. Frimley Park Hospital - Camberely
2. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust- London (Neonatal Unit)
3. Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital- Grimsby
4. Stroud General Hospital (Stroud Maternity Unit)
5. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
6. Poole Hospital - Dorset (Neonatal Unit)
7. NHS Tayside, Ninewells Hospital -Dundee
8. Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
9. Amazing Start/ Healthworks Newcastle
10. Snapdragons Plymouth CIC
11. Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals - Surrey
12. Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
* Please note the crowdfunder launcheed to raise money for 13 portraits for 13 venues, since then a venue has declined their portrait, therefore only 12 portraits will be given.
The venues are delighted to have been nominated and feedback has shown that the portraits of breastfeeding women would "look amazing on our hospital walls", "it would be a dream come true to be able to share your work with the families and staff on the unit and across the hospital" and "very much hope that we are successful as we have low breastfeeding rates, high covid admissions and feeling as though we NEED something visual and positive to lift morale!".
Financial support from you will be rewarded with gifts in exchange, there are lots to receive such as signed publication about the breastfeed project, postcards and prints of the artwork.
Personally to complete a successful crowdfunding project would be a dream come true and make a significant impact on my professional art practice. Ultimately my hopes are for the artwork to be displayed at appropriate venues where it can start positive conversation, help people look differently at this precious, maternal act and make an impact on the way individuals and our communities are exposed to breastfeeding. This collection is titled breastfeed Portraits with Purpose and I truly hope with your financial support they will be positively meaningful displayed in our society.