Arcadia Gallery

Coventry City of Breastfeeding

Friday 18th June – Friday 2nd July 2021 10-4pm

Arcadia Gallery, 32 City Arcade, Coventry CV1

Press Preview: Thursday 17th June, 2pm

Visual artist Lisa Creagh is pleased to present Coventry City of Culture; a multi-site art piece delivered across digital and site locations in Coventry during Coventry City of Culture 2021. 

This work is the latest in a series of projects called ‘Holding Time’ a socially engaged feminist art piece creating a portrait of breastfeeding. The Holding Time Project is designed as an art/health intervention tackling low breastfeeding rates in the UK.  Mothers are invited to share their experiences in video interviews to accompany still and moving-image portraits. In these interviews (conducted in 2021 via video call during the COVID19 pandemic) the artist and subject discuss breastfeeding in all its complexity. 

Coventry City of Breastfeeding

  1. A multi-screen installation at Arcadia Gallery in City Arcade featuring animated portraits of a ‘chorus’ of breastfeeding mothers accompanied by music by composer Helen Anahita Wilson. 
  2. A permanent exhibition of portraits of Coventry breastfeeding mothers on the labour ward at UHCW.
  3. A single screen version of the Holding Time Coventry animations commissioned by the Maternity Themed Clinical Trials Unit at Warwick University. An interview with Professor Debra Bick of the unit on the role of research in understanding complex breastfeeding issues.
  4. #breastfeedingbuddy A social media campaign during National Breastfeeding Week 20-26th June. This campaign seeks to broaden the imagery around breastfeeding to emphasise the crucial role of partners and family in supporting breastfeeding in the family: https://holdingtime.org/breastfeedingbuddy/

There is an accompanying project website which includes testimonies from mothers and several short Blog posts. The project also includes a Youtube channel featuring interviews with participating mothers, and a Facebook group for mothers wishing to participate in the social media campaign. 

National Breastfeeding week 20-26th June

ALL WEEK: Coventry and Warwickshire mothers are called to post images of their #BreastfeedingBuddy for a #COV2021#cityofbreastfeeding social media campaign to highlight support for breastfeeding mothers.

Coventry Breastfeeding mothers took part in a photoshoot in a Covid safe, temporary studio at Artspace in May. This photoshoot was intended to raise awareness of the diversity and range of mothers breastfeeding in Coventry and the resulting images were used to create animations and stills for a permanent exhibition at UHCW Labour Ward and a temporary exhibition at Arcadia from 18th June to 2nd July.

The selection of mothers was on a first come, first served basis, with calls put out via the local Infant Feeding team, MAMTA and on social media channels. All the mothers were interviewed for their thoughts on feeding in public, the support they had with breastfeeding and any advice for new mothers. Within the final images are a range of experiences including cleft palate, premature, tongue tied and babies born by C-Section. In the interviews mothers discuss the experience of motherhood during COVID, Post Natal Depression, hospital and birth.

The gallery contains a multiscreen installation featuring:

  • Animated portraits of a ‘chorus’ of breastfeeding mothers accompanied by music by composer Helen Anahita Wilson
  • A single screen series of interviews and discussions by coventry mothers about their experience of breastfeeding, including an interview with professor Debra Bick who researches into complex issues to do with breastfeeding.

“Absolutely beautiful… such a powerful, important project. Thank you for doing a talk with ‘Mothers who make’ – perfect fit! Feeling very inspired and grateful for you, your work and activism!”

Adele 24th June

Visit the Youtube channel to see more Coventry Mother interviews. Or visit the Press Page to keep up to date with the exhibition.

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