Award granted for midwifery arts project
The University of Salford has won a Tricia Anderson Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Award to develop an arts project which promotes normal childbirth.
The £1,000 award is made every year in memory of midwife Tricia Anderson who died in 2007. Tricia’s passion for literature and the arts was an integral part of her midwifery philosophy and the award reflects her innovative approach to the wellbeing of mothers and babies.
The money will be used to produce a series of original artworks for local maternity units which will inspire midwives, women and their birth partners to adopt a more normal and active birth philosophy.
The artworks are being developed through workshops which explore creativity through pottery, textiles, painting and drawing. Inspired by the feminist American artist Judy Chicago, common themes include birth trauma, the absence of birth imagery in western culture and freedom for women after childbirth.
The project also draws on the Birth Rites exhibition held in Manchester in 2008. Birth Rites was the brainchild of artist Helen Knowles who questioned society’s approach to childbirth after her contrasting experiences of giving birth by caesarean and at home. Part of the collection is being housed at the University and there are plans to open it to the public this summer.
Elaine Uppal, a lecturer in midwifery who secured the award, said: “We are delighted that the students’ artwork is gaining recognition - the potential to develop and promote a more natural approach to childbirth has been rewarding for everyone involved. This award means we can now ensure that midwives, women and their birth supporters can also benefit from the work.”
For more information about the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust go to: www.iolanthe.org
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