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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.

"Angel Wings" exhibition, Ulster Hall

Art piece in display at the Ulster Hall for the International Woman's Day

Statement 'Angel wings':

When I looked through my grandmothers genealogy, I came across a family, where all but one child died during infancy, where stillborn, or only lived for a very short while.

In the ten year period between 1846 and 1856, Maaijke , the mother, bore nine children. when her eighth child died, thirty days after the birth, she departed on the same day, at the age of 35.I dwelled on the anonymous suffering, and then it became symbolic for all parents who had simulair traumatic experiences.

Very quickly I arrived at the idea of small garments, the poignancy; It is often the only  tactile thing people are left with after the death of a very small child.

The washing line, I revisited. Clothes move on washing lines, as if haunted.That was important for me.The pieces lack colour, apart from the red, which I choose for its symbolic meaning.

The design for the baby clothes was taken from a Dutch painting of a deceased infant, made in 1621.

The exeptional long sleeves.The vintage buttons justify the age.The only girl made distinct by a flower button.The threads hanging down add melancholy, and add vulnarability.  Thread is connected to human existance,and are metaphors for the duration and fragility of life.

While i was working on 'angelwings'the slow and labourous project of handstitch made it a trance like experience, and I became deeply emotionally involved and thought about the hope and expectations which come with the working of tiny clothes.

The narrative of lives, lived in the past or the present, is a constant source of inspiration to me.

Tineke Kroes