Birth Rites Collection

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Helen Knowles. 2008.

Artist Book, 21 x 37 cm


Between September and December 2005, Helen worked at Cherry Tree Hospital in Stockport with elderly patients to explore their experiences of childbirth. She spent a lot of time sitting and talking to the men and women, some of whom were close to death and others who were in there to give respite to their carers. It was a challenging and emotional experience for those involved. The interviews were transcribed, sometimes recorded and at times the participants wrote down their own experiences.


In addition to the verbal and written responses Helen taught the participants to mono-print. She brought in a variety of images from neo-lithic rock carvings of fertility goddesses to contemporary images of women giving birth.  The participants used these to create their own prints.


Following the 8 sessions with the Cherry Tree residents Helentook the various created components to Hotbed Press in Salford where she used screen printing to collate the material into an artist book.

cherry tree cover

Cherry Tree Artist Book