From personal experience I can say that suffering a stillbirth is a heartbreaking and lonely experience. There is still a tremendous taboo surrounding stillbirth which can lead to isolation on top of the grief. Stillbirth is mostly invisible in the media unless you go and find the information through dedicated support groups. However, globally there are 2.6 million stillbirths a year and in the UK alone there are ten stillbirths a day. If stillbirth was discussed more openly it could help avoid at least some of the preventable deaths and would ease the alienation felt by those who suffer it. Many people don’t know how to react when someone in their circle of friends or family suffers a stillbirth and prefer to pretend it never happened. But for someone to whom it has just happened talking about it is probably one of the few things that has meaning. I remember browsing the shelves of bookshops trying to find any fiction on the theme of stillbirth and finding very little indeed. I hope this book project will increase the visibility of stillbirth and make people less anxious to talk about it.
In order to raise awareness of stillbirth UK based artist Adinda van ‘t Klooster will make a series of new artworks on the theme of stillbirth using drawing, screen printing and sculpture. A series of artworks will be accompanied by a poem each, to be commissioned from a selection of high calibre writers and poets. They will be accessed via organisations like the Poetry Society and New Writing North and through direct contacting. The artworks and poems will be compiled in an artist's book. The book and screen prints will be launched at Northern Print in Newcastle upon Tyne and a larger exhibition will travel to the Tommys Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary’s hospital in Manchester in August 2017.
The money raised through crowd funding will be used to commission the poems (£ 2400 for up to twelve poems), book design (£ 1600), printing the first 60 books (£ 1080), photography of the artworks (£ 400), art materials (£ 1000), printing the badges (£ 100), postage of the books and badges for crowd funders (£ 250), printmaking facilities access cost (£ 150), marketing crowd funding campaign (£ 120), and card payment fees plus 5% of total raised to the crowdfunding site (£ 500)= £ 7600
Rewards offered are the book at £ 30, a badge to promote stillbirth awareness at £ 10 and a yet to be made screen print by Adinda van ‘t Klooster at the much reduced price of £ 160 and having your name and if applicable that of your stillborn baby printed in the book at £ 20.