There are 2.6 million stillbirths a year worldwide, yet women and their families going through it often feel very isolated. The taboo surrounding stillbirth makes it hard for people to share their experiences. With my work I want to help raise public awareness of stillbirth and reduce the attached stigma and help families to grieve better.
In 2010 I gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Elvira. Since then I have been making artwork about, and informed by, this experience. The artworks in the Still Born exhibition chart the different stages of grief. Denial and anger are represented in the early porcelain uterus pieces and Tree of Sadness, made in 2013, highlights feelings of deep sadness and isolation. In the more recent works I have been able to take more distance and approach the subject matter as a societal problem, not just a personal one. Society has much work to do before it can say babies no longer die unnecessarily and when they do die parents are supported.
With the help of Arts Council funding, crowdfunding and support from project partners Manchester University and Northern Print in 2017/18, we published the Still Born book with poems in direct response to the artworks by Roger Bloor, Christine Bousfield, Jennie Farley, Rebecca Goss, Sarah James, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Claire Potter and Wendy Pratt.
We would now like to tour this body of work and poems to three UK venues this year: the Newcastle City Library, the Idea Store London in and the St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. We have raised the majority of the funding, but still need a further three thousand pounds to exhibit the work for one month at each of these three venues and hold a free art workshop for bereaved parents and their family at each of these venues, allowing participants to create a memorial for their still born baby. The original dates were agreed to be this spring and summer but due to COVID-19 and the closure of all UK museums, galleries and libraries, the dates are now being re-negotiated, and likely to take place in the fall of 2020. Please help us by donating to this important cause. Thank you for any contributions large or small.
Previous artworks by Adinda van 't Klooster can be found on <www.adindavantklooster.com.html> and <www.https://www.affectformations.net/>
Images of the Each Egg a World and the Wheels are Turning artworks can be found in the gallery of <www.adindavantklooster.com/stillborn.html>