Plaça de Willy Brandt, 11-14
Annual meeting of ESHRE. For scientists and the fertility industry.
Fertility Fest 2018 have organised to be part of this conference and will be showing seven or eight artists on one of the floors of the building. I’m planning to do a minimal installation of a Childs bedroom, a couple of my doll photos and a hand made photo album of the whole doll photo collection.
Really looking forward tom it as I love Barcelona. Barry is coming with me.
Infertility is a subject that many of us struggle to talk about – but a group of artists and photographers wants their work to start difficult conversations.
Around one in eight women in the UK will have difficulty conceiving – yet many of us struggle to talk about infertility. Too often, the subject is met with unhelpful breeziness (“It’ll happen as soon as you stop trying!”), judgement (“Well, you did leave it quite late”) or – perhaps worst of all – awkward silence.
However, a new community of artists and photographers is trying to break the silence around infertility by exploring the subject through their work. These artists include Tabitha Moses, who had her daughter via a donor egg after experiencing miscarriage and unsuccessful IVF, and Tina Reid-Peršin, whose photographic and video installation project Photos I’ll Never Take is reminiscent of a family album – with the role of a child played by a doll.
Work by these artists will be on display at this year’s Fertility Fest, the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility. Fertility Fest’s founder, Jessica Hepburn – a former Stylist Woman of the Week – was inspired to ask contemporary artists to exhibit at the festival after visiting Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in Mexico City, and being struck by how the groundbreaking feminist artist explored themes of infertility in her work.
Scroll down to learn more about the artists, their experiences and their work.
Moses’ work is inspired by her experiences of miscarriage, unsuccessful IVF and pregnancy via a donor egg, and this series of portraits reflects the stories of a selection of patients at the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool.
Using colourful cotton and decorative line, Moses embroidered traditional and non-traditional symbols of fertility – including fertility goddesses and a pair of lucky knickers – onto gowns worn during IVF treatment. She also gathered information about the things people use to help them conceive and embroidered them onto the gowns, such as syringes and empty medical bottles.
Reid-Peršin has been working on her ongoing project Photos I’ll Never Takesince 2011. Through a series of photographic and video tableaux, she explores her feelings about the family she’ll never have, using the concept of a fictional family album to try and convey the sense of grief that accompanies her situation.
In place of a child, she uses a shop mannequin and involves her husband, family members and friends in the creation of the photos.
Glover’s project Life in Glass was developed during an artist’s residency at the IVF clinic at Guy’s Hospital in London, and draws on the photographic archive of Nobel Prize-winning IVF pioneer, Professor Robert Edwards.
Through her work, Glover aims to enhance the experience of the clinical environment, drawing upon images from the outside world of nature and combining them with scientific images of embryos and sperm.
Ingleby’s photographic project SEED explores different aspects of fertility treatment through a series of portraits, conceptual and documentary images. SEED Collection is a series of portraits taken minutes before egg collection, while SEED Stories uses clinical imagery from a couple’s treatment cycle to express an experience of having fertility treatment.
Each of the images in SEED represents a key stage in IVF when the statistical chance of having a baby can be measured. The size of the images change as the chance of having a baby fluctuates, representing the physical and emotional rollercoaster of having IVF.
Foster’s artworks celebrate the lives of his three children lost through miscarriage, challenging the perception that miscarriage happens only to women.
Called Labour of Love, his body of work acts as a double-edged sword between the joys and despairs of an expectant father. Pain will not have the last word is a 76 ft scroll painting exploring the everyday experiences and joys of being a dad.
Isabel Davis and Anna Burel
Conceiving Histories is a collaboration between Davis and Burel, a literary historian and visual artist respectively. The duo produce creative and fictional reworkings of the archival materials of ‘un-pregnancy’, the word they use for the time before diagnosis of pregnancy or infertility.
Looking forward to Fertility Fest and delighted to part of it. Its a wonderful supportive event that talks about fertility and modern families. It’s a much bigger event than in 2016. I’m presenting my art project “Photos I’ll never take” on Saturday 12th May. This time, as well as photos, I’ll also have some videos.
150 artists are taking part and it runs for six days. It included a week long workshop in February, at the National Theatre, exploring fertility education, which I was proud to be part of, and also includes an exhibition in Barcelona in July, which I also hope to be part of.
Will be taking part in a webinar today. As part of the “We are worthy” summit. Its from 5pm to 6pm. The event is run by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher, who publish a magazine called- “The childless not by choice.”
Here is the link for the webinar- https://weareworthysummit.com
Here is the link for Fertility fest 2018- https://www.fertilityfest.com
Its just been confirmed that the funding has been awarded to Fertility Fest for next year. Well done to Jessica Hepburn! This means that I will definitely be doing a workshop with The National Theatre – week commencing 26th February 2018, and also a talk in London about my work on May 12th 2018, for Fertility Fest. I’m delighted! I will have to finish my photo album of “Photos I’ll never take” and possibly also my romance books video. Its good to have a deadline. We will be planning the workshop over the next couple of weeks, so I’ll know more about that soon.
The exhibition is on Friday 8th March 6.30pm to 8.30pm. at The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. I’ve had two photos selected, Birthday and Bluebells. Just delivered them today. It felt great to be selected for such a big gallery. This is a first for me. It’s great to begin to get some recognition for my work. It was fabulous to wander round and take a sneak preview of the exhibition.
Just got the news that I have been selected for the East Sussex Open at the Towner Gallery. They selected the photos Birthday and Bluebells. I’ve already posted both these photos, but happy to post them again with this note. Both are already printed and framed from my exhibition in Brighton, so I only need to work on the text to go with it. So pleased, it means that my cv is beginning to look quite respectable now. Its such a slog entering all these things. I had had a last minute dash to Eastbourne to deliver the disc and application form, before the deadline. Got there five minutes before and found a queue of several other artists who had done the same! Many thanks to Barry, who managed to get me there, even though we were held up waiting for a train.
I haven’t been posting recently because I had a hard time at Christmas, so this is fabulous news. I’ll post details of the private view when I get them.
A lovely lady, Katie Barlow has been filming me and my work since the Brighton Photo fringe. She’s doing a documentary about people who are not able to have children, who have made a creative response to it. So my project “Photos I’ll never take” is ideal.
At first we joked that as she can’t find other people, who have expressed themselves creatively, it might just be about me and her. Anyway, Tracy Emin has now agreed to be interviewed for it! This takes it into another ball game. It’s quite possible it could end up on TV now. She’s taking it to the documantary film festival in the Summer, where she hopes to sell it to a channel.
I need to try and finish the project by the Summer, so I have the family album book, it will help to have something like the documentary to sell the book.
Still I have to manage my expectations, I was quite disappointed that after being interviewed for the national press, it didn’t get into print. I’ll just have to keep on plodding and trying all avenues to get it seen.