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In 2013 in the UK, one in every 137 babies was either stillborn or died in the first 4 weeks of life

Here in N. Ireland, over 3 babies a week are stillborn or die in the first 4 weeks of life.

We support all bereaved parents who have lost their babies, before, during or shortly after birth.

Artist background

 

Sue Fernandes

About the artist: Sue is a British born and British trained midwife, with a Diploma in Creative Arts (Brisbane 1981), is highly regarded in the art of portraiture. Her now flourishing business began modestly in 1987 when she began sketching newborn infants at the Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane and slowly expanded until every maternity hospital welcomed her services. This became her full time occupation and, as far as it is possible to know, a "first" in Queensland, and perhaps in Australia. Sue also works through the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support organisation (SANDS), both here and in Australia, sketching those babies who were not so fortunate, and it is in this area where her focus now lies, hence this brochure. Sue is able to produce a likeness of your baby in soft pastel colour or in pencil. This enables you, as parents, to openly display the portrait and say "that's my baby!" She is becoming ever more aware of the comfort her work brings to bereaved parents and receives many touching letters from both Australia and overseas. Sue now lives in a beautiful log cabin on her property near the Snowy Mountains, her self-imposed isolation making it necessary to work from photographs only.

Requirements: All Sue needs is a photograph of your baby, or even better, a small selection (copies, as they are very precious). It's preferable that the baby's features are fairly clear so that a good likeness can be established, however it's still possible to work with unclear photographs, if that is all you have. Bruises and other marks are, naturally, omitted and normal skin tones are portrayed. The drapes and suggestion of clothing in the completed portrait are a product of artistic imagination. Sue's ultimate intention is to provide you with an image of a sleeping, peaceful baby, as your baby would have appeared had circumstances been different, yet she tries hard to keep within the boundaries of reality as much as possible. Occasionally, when no photographs are available, Sue can create a "symbolic" portrait by using family snaps of both parents as babies, thereby producing a composite of the two.

Brothers and sisters : Once you have received your portrait, you may wish to send baby photographs of other children you have in order to complete the family gallery. Sue now regularly hears from past clients who have gone on to have healthy pregnancies - these are letters of pride and joy and she takes great pleasure in being involved in the happy outcomes. MULTIPLE BIRTHS: When a double tragedy has occurred and one or more twins or triplets are lost, then Sue is able to portray the babies all together.

Family portraits: Using separate photographs, larger works may be undertaken featuring other family members, for example, brothers and sisters. This may help increase family unity during this time of grief. BABY'S NAME: If you wish Sue to put your baby's name on the finished work, please let her know when you write, taking care to print the name clearly so no mistakes are made.

About the medium : Sue works mainly in pastels - a soft chalk medium which enhances the natural skin tones of her small subjects. It has the reputation of retaining its original colour tones, and never fades. Top quality pastel paper is always used. Pencil sketches continue to have their own appeal and have the additional advantage of being able to be placed directly next to glass without incurring harm - this makes it easier and less expensive to frame. Again, top quality 100gsm paper is used. SIZE: Unless otherwise requested, all single-subject pencil sketches are a regulation A4 size. However, these may be larger or smaller, or made to fit a particular frame size. Pastel portraits are somewhat larger, approximately 35 x 25cm. They will have been protected by a fixative spray but, for total protection, should be professionally framed as soon as possible.

Photocopying: Pastel portraits will photocopy exceptionally well, besides, you have the additional advantage of having the finished work either reduced for desk display, or enlarged to double its size. Your local photocopying firm may also be able to provide you with a set of wallet-sized copies.

Variety of work : Sue's portraits are not always of babies - they can be of any age, through to the elderly. Also dogs, cats, homes and other buildings such as churches, in fact, anything sketchable! Old, faded, and sometimes damaged photographs can be copied in sepia on buff paper, giving that "old fashioned" look. Pen and ink drawings of churches and other buildings are also available - price is negotiable, depending on detail.

Current prices : (2003 - date) Per single subject
Pastel £65.00 Pencil £45.00 Postage £5.00

If you have any questions, Sue would be most happy to have you call her, anytime.

Phone: 0061 264584227 Email: suefernandes@activ8.net.au
Sue Fernandes, "Applegum", Merriangaah, BOMBALA NSW, AUSTRALIA 2632