A special exhibition is coming to Nottingham and partnering with local bereavement support centre Zephyr’s, which is run by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, this Baby Loss Awareness Week (9 to 15 October, with the exhibition running from 13 to 19 October).
A drop-in session will be held by the Zephyr’s team during ‘Remembering Baby’ – a pioneering exhibition which explores what happens when a baby dies, both from a parental and a professional perspective. The exhibition uses visual and audio art to explore how parents and medical professionals deal with baby loss, including the post-mortem process.
It will include memory boxes, visual images and other mementoes, and aims to show the often unseen or unspoken feelings experienced by both parents and medical professionals after the loss of a baby.
The exhibition, which was created by researchers at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with a number of artists, has been touring the UK since last year, and is coming to Nottingham from 13 to 20 October 2018. It will be on show at the Surface Gallery in Southwell Road, Nottingham.
During the exhibition, on Thursday 18 October from 1pm to 3pm, representatives from local bereavement support centre Zephyr’s will be on hand during a drop-in session, to offer support and share a cup of tea or coffee while looking at the artwork.
Zephyr’s is based at Nottingham City Centre and provides support for families who have lost a pregnancy, baby or child. It was opened by Nottingham Hospitals Charity in April 2017 with the help of Carly Williams and Martin Sommerville, a local couple who raised £20,000 for the centre in memory of their son Zephyr, who was stillborn in December 2013.
Carly Williams, who is now the Project Manager for Zephyr’s, said: "How can you ever explain to someone who doesn’t know what it is like to be a bereaved parent? How can anyone ever find words enough to describe the mix of pride at parenting, with the sorrow of loss?
“The Remembering Baby exhibition tackles this visually – the gallery show gives voice to those who are bereaved, and also to those whose professional lives are touched by the loss of a baby. We’re really proud to have helped bring this to Nottingham during Baby Loss Awareness Week.
“Of course, those of us who are bereaved are always aware – we always remember, but having a public exhibition with this focus will help shine a light on baby loss openly – a subject which can often be uncomfortable for many – and help to bring it into the wider community, giving a place for conversation, just like Zephyr’s centre does.”
Helen O’Hanlon turned to the Zephyr’s centre for support after losing her baby boy triplets. She said: “On my first visit I was welcomed with a big, genuine smile and felt instantly at ease, Carly made me a drink and I sat comfortably on the sofa, chatting. There were five of us just talking about our experiences and I never once felt under pressure to talk, I felt totally comfortable to sit in silence or just cry if I wanted to. It made me feel like I wasn't on my own.
“Before this happened to me, I was totally clueless on what a massive impact baby loss has on your life and those of your family and friends. I know of people that have lost babies but sadly I never realised what a life changing and traumatic experience it must have been for them. So I think that Baby Loss Awareness Week is wonderful, I really do believe that creating more awareness is so helpful in getting people talking, I am so pleased that the Remembering Baby exhibition is coming to Nottingham to get people talking too.”
‘Remembering Baby’ is open to the public from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 13 October, and from midday to 6pm on Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 October at the Surface Gallery, Southwell Road, Nottingham.
For more information about Zephyr’s or their drop-in session at the exhibition, please visit ‘Zephyr’s Nottingham’ on Facebook, @zephyrsnotts on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Nottingham Hospitals Charity or to make a donation to Zephyr’s, please go to www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk/appeals