RESEARCH: "re.conceive" (2021/22)

RESEARCH VISIT: BIRTH RITES SUMMER SCHOOL..

An intensive learning week at the Birth Rites Collection Summer School
19/07/2021
As part of my reconceive project, I always planned to attend the Birth Rites Collection Summer School. This was the most edifying and enriching experience and such a fulfilling part of my research.

The programme: (edited from the Birth Rites website)

Birth Rites Collection Summer School is a unique programme of lectures, workshops, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. It introduced me to the art collection and facilitated a dialogue between me, my practice and the artworks. The course is led by Helen Knowles, BRC Curator and artist, Hermione Wiltshire, artist and Senior Lecturer at the Royal College of Art. They will helped me to articulate responses to the art collection in a supportive environment.

The course was attended by midwives, doulas, academics, curators, artists, medics, health professionals, art historians and policy advisors. I entered the course with my own skill set and finished with a bespoke multi-media pack of visual, textual, auditory and filmic material, built on my own responses to art on birth.

Workshops included shooting and editing short films on mobile phones and reflecting on the themes through visual and written material. We were introduced to different perspectives from international guest speakers and partook in-depth discussions addressing aesthetics, ethics and the visual discourses of birth.

Themes included:
- How the collection informs and unpacks different perspectives from midwifery, medicine and education, and its potential to change practice and policy.
- Artistic and midwifery practices that address reproduction in the digital age including AI, simulation, VR and new reproductive technologies amid changing perspectives on the non-binary and notions of kinship.
- The Collection’s impact on feminist art practices and the rehabilitation of the visual discourses of birth into art history.
- Censorship of artworks on birth, institutional responses, ethics and the law.
- Sexual reproduction and reciprocity.?

What an absolutely AMAZING week at the @birthritescollection Summer School!!!!

Thanks to the wonderful @helenknowles001 and @hermionewiltshire for their passion, knowledge and organisation skills in coordinating such a fabulous programme, full of invigorating lectures, engaging workshops and generous tutorials. Such a privilege to have met the most fantastic people to work alongside, who also completely inspired and nurtured me during this time.