Ele­phant Col­lec­tive fo­cuses on ma­ter­nal death in new ex­hi­bi­tion

Wexford People - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

AN EX­HI­BI­TION which opens this Fri­day and runs for three days next week at Wex­ford Arts Cen­tre drew in­spi­ra­tion from a lo­cal lobbying group who have called for manda­tory in­quests in all cases of ma­ter­nal deaths.

The Ele­phant Col­lec­tive is made up of in­di­vid­u­als and groups who have been af­fected by or have con­cerns over ma­ter­nal deaths in Ire­land. The group has been ac­tively seek­ing manda­tory in­quests for all ma­ter­nal deaths since 2014 and has been work­ing with TD Clare Daly to bring the de­bate to the Dáil.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, ‘Pick­ing up the Threads: Re­mak­ing the Fab­ric of Care’, grew from the groups ex­pe­ri­ences on their cam­paign. Be­tween 2008 and 2014, in­quests for eight women who died in ma­ter­nity ser­vices ended in ver­dicts of death by med­i­cal mis­ad­ven­ture.

The ex­hi­bi­tion com­mem­o­rates the lives of the eight women through a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ex­hibits.

Among the pieces on dis­play are a spe­cially de­signed quilt, made by over 150 col­lab­o­ra­tors; artist Martin Hy­nan’s painted por­traits of each woman; film maker Anne Marie Greene’s ‘Pick­ing up the Threads’ which doc­u­ments the sto­ries of the women’s fam­i­lies and ini­ti­a­tion of the cam­paign; and artist Laura Fitz­patrick’s art book and film ‘A Si­lent Killer’ which de­picts Savita Halap­panavar’s time­line in hos­pi­tal.

In 2017, the Ac­cess 2000 Com­mu­nity group joined the cam­paign by gath­er­ing over 500 post­cards to send to the Min­is­ter for jus­tice, a pre­sen­ta­tion to the Ele­phant Col­lec­tive of their ceramic work will be on dis­play in the Arts Cen­tre, while a col­lage of work made by kids who at­tended a 2016 work­shop with artist Mary Wal­lace, will also be in situ.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also hon­ours women who died and whose names are recorded only as sta­tis­tics in an­nual clin­i­cal re­ports from ma­ter­nity units and hos­pi­tals.

The of­fi­cial open­ing takes place this Fri­day evening at 6 p.m. and the ex­hi­bi­tion will be launched by guest speaker Mar­garet Cullen from Ac­cess 2000. The doc­u­men­tary ‘Pick­ing up the Threads’ will be screened at 6.30 p.m. and there will be a panel dis­cus­sion, with Dr Jo Mur­phy Law­less, Pa­tri­cia Hughes, and Derek and Mignon Un­der­wood at 7 p.m.

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs in the up­stairs gallery of Wex­ford Arts Cen­tre from Jan­uary 14 to 16.

The ex­hi­bi­tion com­mem­o­rates the lives of eight women who died.

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