Birth Rites Collection

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The Birth Rites Collection is the first and only collection of contemporary artwork dedicated to the subject of childbirth. The collection currently comprises of photography, sculpture, painting, wallpaper, drawing, new media, documentary and experimental film. It is housed in the University of Salford in the School of Nursing Midiwfery and Social Care in the Mary Seacole Building.

th_audio-icon Griselda Pollock Seminar Helen Judy and chicago small


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Theatre Gwan, Fishguard

& Kings College, London


Image of Helen Knowles and Althea Greenan ( Women’s Art Library) at Media CityUK announcing the winner of the competition for new works 2015.



We are pleased to announce that Birth Rites Collection has won some funding from the Goldsmiths Innovation Award to support the relaunch of the collection and mentoring of the business.


Helen Knowles will be working alongside Marina Norris on the mentoring programme.

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Student Midwives in the Home from Home suite at Salford University learning about homebirth practise surrounded by two works by Judy Chicago from her 1980's Birth Project.

Past events - Public Exhibitions - Talks by Helen Knowles BRC Curator in conjucntion with Susu Laroche and Georgia Horgan.


Royal Exchange Birth Festival19th - 22nd October 2016.

screen night 2015

OXYTOCIN - BIRTHING THE WORLD - hear Helen Knowles join the final panel at the Royal College of Art on 3rd June for the Procreate project.





The Birth Rites Collection is looking for new or existing artworks, in any medium, which deals with the subject of childbirth.


This is an opportunity for your work to permanently become part of the BRC, be featured as a constant on the BRC website, and tour with the collection where it will be shown in future exhibitions, be available to loan for external shows, and be part of any publications released within the collection.


In addition to being part of the collection, the prize winner will be awarded a two-week residency at the BRC, and will also obtain a stipend of 250 pounds.


All chosen works will be featured for one month on our webdite and showcased digitally for one night at the Whitworth Art Gallery in September.


Application Deadline: 25th June 2017


Please download:


Bi-annual Competition Brief 2017 Application Form 2017