VILOMAH: HIDDEN LOSS & UNTOLD FUTURES
Deadline: 24/03/2023 | Venue: Citizen Art Gallery, Blue House Yard | City: Wood Green, London | Region: London | Country: United Kingdom | Alice Mary Williamson Jelaska
VILOMAH: HIDDEN LOSS & UNTOLD FUTURES is an exhibition exploring pregnancy loss, baby loss & infertility. I am inviting creative responses to the emotional, social, cultural & political impacts of these experiences, and welcome contemporary works from a variety of disciplines – visual arts, sculpture, prose, poetry, video/film, recorded music/sound/spoken word, multi-sensory media.
I am an artist, musician and writer who went through the loss of a baby in pregnancy in early 2022, so the subject is close to my heart; sensitivity and compassion is at the core.
The exhibition encompasses all forms of pregnancy/baby loss – infant loss, neonatal loss, stillbirth, termination for medical reasons, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, medical & age-related infertility.
These losses are often hidden away and experienced as a taboo subject, which can lead to a loss feeling minimised - bringing added hurt & pain.
As well as a creative & expressive outlet for a difficult subject, this exhibition aims to bring awareness and shed light on the reality of how these losses are experienced across society, culture & history.
‘Vilomah’ [vee-lo-mah] is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘against the natural order’. It is used to describe a parent who has lost a child; for which there is no word in the English language.
The loss is not only the loss of a child but also of imagined futures and family units; loss of celebrations and life experiences; loss of self through trauma, pain & grief; and in many cases loss or erosion of relationships (partners, friends, family) through extreme change and emotional strain.
On top of the emotional impact on individuals, parents and families, there are many layers of societal, cultural, religious and political presumptions/pressures that heavily impact how people can process and share their experiences - bringing feelings of shame, guilt or failure.
And in light of the overturning of Roe v Wade and similar political shifts around the world, there is need for crucial discourse surrounding abortion – a choice we need access to, but not always a simple choice. For the sake of basic human rights and bodily autonomy people should always have the option available; so we need the community structures and understanding to fully support and emotionally hold these decisions - to protect the privacy, physical health & mental/emotional health of those going through it.
This exhibition opens a channel for examining and sharing these difficult topics creatively, whilst also informing and making space for reflection for those attending – with or without lived experience.
Deadline for submissions is Friday 24th March, 11.59pm GMT. Due to the sensitive nature of the exhibition, if any artist wishes to participate without sharing their name publicly please let me know in the submission form.
The exhibition will open on Thursday 13th April and be open until the 20th April.
Details about the gallery:
- 8.1 x 2.5 metres of wall-space
- Fully-glazed frontage, with excellent natural light
- LED track lighting throughout
- Eaves height of 4+ metres
- Located very close to Wood Green tube station (Piccadilly line)
- Located within a popular & friendly community hub - surrounded by independent makers
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