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Is Childbirth the Ultimate Taboo?


Tuesday, 05 February, 2019, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

62 Wood Lane, London, W12 7RH

More about the event:

Is Childbirth the Ultimate Taboo?

Join us for a candid panel discussion on childbirth and its image in contemporary culture, busting myths around one of the most universal yet taboo subjects in the world. Guests are invited to share their birth stories and experiences, and to hear speakers, curator  Helen Knowles, midwife Claire Cousins, and artist Iringó Demeter talk about how birth has shaped their work and changed their lives.


Talk starts at 7pm



Helen Knowles, curator Birth Rites; Iringó Demeter, Artist; Claire Cousins, Midwife

Moderated by editor-at-large Charlotte Jansen

*Image courtesy of Iringó Demeter




About the speakers:

Helen Knowles, b1975 is an artist and curator, she has a BA Hons from Glasgow School of Art and MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths University. She founded the Birth Rites Collection in 2009 and has since then been curating and directing the collection which has been located at The University of Salford ( 2009 -2017 ) and at Kings College, London (2017 – 2020). She lectures widely around the UK and abroad. Recent and forthcoming shows include; ‘Impakt’, Utrecht (2018) ‘Los Algorithmos Suaves’, Centro Del Carme, Valencia (2018) ‘Zero Recoil Damage’,FolkestoneTriennial (2017), ‘OpenCodes’, ZKMKarlsruhe,Germany, ( 2017-18) ‘Codex’ D21,Leipzig,The Trial of Superdebthunterbot, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2017) ‘Gender Generation’, Royal College of Art, ‘Between the Lines’, GRAD,London, ‘UnderConstruction’,Moscow (2016), ‘Collaborate’, Oriel Sycarth, (2015), ‘Private View:Public Birth’, GV Art, London (2013), Goldsmiths Women’s Library (2013), ‘Life Is Beautiful’, Galerie Deadfly, Berlin (2012); ‘Digital Romantics’, Dean Clough Gallery (2012) and ‘Walls are Talking’,Whitworth Art Gallery (2010). Her work is held in private and public collections including The Whitworth Art Gallery, Gallery Oldham, Tate Library and Archive, The National Art Library, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Museum of Motherhood, NY, Birth Rites Collection and MMU Special Collection. Residencies include; Moscow ICA, (2015) Santa Fe Arts Institute, New Mexico (2013 Jodrell Bank Science Centre and Arboretum (1999-2001). A recipient of awards from Arts Council England and The Amateurs Trust, The Network for Social Change and Millenium UnLTD. In 2012, she won the Neo Art Prize, Great Art Prize for two works form the Youtube Portraits Series. Currently Knowles is touring her new video work ‘The Trial of Superdebthunterbot’ to law schools, film festivals and institutions nationally and internationally. She is one of seven artists on the Fault Lines programme, Future Everything. She was recently shortlisted for the Deutsche Bank DBACE Prize.

Iringó Demeter, Growing up in a family of general practitioners, conversations about the human body were always the ones Iringó would listen in to. As a child, she would frequently visit her parents at their practice and would ask to see patients alongside them. Discovering photography as a teenager, the fascination with the human shape and the look of skin have become major part of her work from the very start. Originally from the heart of Transylvania, Romania, Iringó is now based in London and works worldwide on commissioned and personal projects. Her photography often brings the familiar very close, exploring form and texture from an intimate angle.

Claire Cousins, began her midwifery career 12 years ago as a mother of two daughters and in her early 40s. Previously she had worked as a graphic designer. Claire Cousins trained and continue to work in the same hospital – St Mary’s, Paddington. Claire has worked in all areas including vulnerable women, home births and the midwife led unit where she’s currently based.