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 between the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians in London and Salford University Midwifery Department.
Founded by two women, BRC aims to facilitate the production of new cutting edge works by artists who might not normally address the subject because of it’s taboo status within contemporary art practice, to support the work of artists whose work already engages with issues on this subject and to acquire relevant existing works to expand the collection. The collection currently comprises of photography, sculpture, painting, wallpaper, drawing, new media and a documentary film.
Through the presentation and dissemination of the work in the public domain, BRC encourages debate and increases awareness around childbirth practice. The project highlights issues like the shift towards medical intervention in birth and explores the impact of biomedical advances in technology. We explore whether society’s focus on propelling women on to an equal footing with men in the workplace, erodes their importance as mothers and investigate how free women are to give birth in a way they want.