Still Born
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Image credit: Polyamide Tear (two different views) 89.5 x 94.8 x 185.5 mm, by Adinda van 't Klooster, 2017, photographs by Colin Davison

The Still Born project was initiated by Adinda van 't Klooster and aims to raise awareness of stillbirth. Two exhibitions (at Northern Print and Manchester Central), two workshops and an artist's book combining artworks and poetry on the theme of stillbirth and grief were outcomes of this important project.

Artist Adinda van 't Klooster gave birth to a stillborn daughter Elvira Elina in 2010. Since then she has been making artwork about and informed by this experience. Her new book Still Born combines a personal selection of this artwork alongside responses by eight poets, her own narrative, and a text by stillbirth specialist and obstetrician Alexander Heazell of Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at the University of Manchester.

There are few taboos left in 21st century Western society, but stillbirth - the death of a baby, over 24 weeks old, before or during delivery - is still rarely discussed. The book aims to lift some of the taboos on this delicate subject matter, speaking through art and poetry about the emotions that arise in the days, months and years that follow a stillbirth.

The poems have been written in direct response to the artworks and engage with the central theme of loss. Some of the poets have their own personal experience of stillbirth, miscarriage or the death of a baby later in life, some have witnessed the loss and pain of stillbirth in others. The poets are Roger Bloor, Christine Bousfield, Jennie Farley, Rebecca Goss, Sarah James, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Claire Potter and Wendy Pratt. The book is available directly from Amazon or for £ 30 from Northern Print until the 21st of April or by emailing

Image credit: Front Cover of the Still Born book showing the artwork Frozen, ink on paper, 84 x 110 cm, (c) Adinda van 't Klooster 2017. Photograph by Colin Davison

Visitor's comments on the Still Born exhibition as exhibited at IFPA2017 at Manchester central were:

"Good artworks such as these demand careful consideration of the subject represented. There are no quick or easy, right or wrong answers."

"It personalizes the experience and starts a conversation between people and within ourselves."

"An essential aspect of understanding the topic" .

" Invites discussion of taboo subjects."

"It's giving a public output to a deeply personal experience – an experience that many people go through and may not have the support to grieve or speak about it."

" Yes, it is treated like never before."

"It helps families with stillbirth see they are not alone."

"For centuries we have had art about death, but not often is stillbirth depicted."

This project has been made possible thanks to the crowdfunders, Arts Council England, Northern Print, New Writing North, Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre and NIHR.