Exploring the hidden world of infant bereavement

THE TRAGIC and painful loss of an infant will be explored in a new exhibition, The Amulet, by artist Marie Brett and a number of bereaved parents, which launches in Galway.

The Amulet, which will run in the Galway Arts Centre throughout August, stems from The Amulet Project (2009-2013 ), a collaboration by Brett, bereaved parents, Cork University Maternity Hospital, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, and Waterford Regional Hospital.

The parents worked with the artist to locate an amulet they possessed which has significance in relation to the loss of their baby. Marie recorded the stories behind the chosen amulets and these stories, together with visual materials from the parents, formed the basis for a new artwork.

“The Amulet will be a challenge for our audience,” said Maeve Mulrennan, head of visual art at GAC. “It is honest, heartbreaking, and due to Marie’s skill as an artist, a space for exploring what words cannot express.”

Opening and discussion

The Amulet opens on Friday August 1 at 6pm in the Galway Arts Centre with guest speakers Mairie Cregan (Féileacáin ) and Sarah Searson (GMIT Centre for Creative Arts ). The exhibition runs until August 29.

The launch will be preceded by a public discussion event at Áras na nGael at 4pm. The panel will feature bereaved parents, as well as Marie Brett, Maeve Mulrennan, Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUI Galway History Department ), Jenny Butler (UCC Folklore and Ethnology Department ); and from Galway University Hospitals, Jane Whiriskey (assistant director of midwifery ), Anne McKeown (bereavement liaison officer ), and Margaret Flannery (GUH Arts Trust ). The chair will be Ann O’Connor, the Arts Council.

For more information on the exhibition and how to attend the discussion see www.galwayartscentre.ie or call 091 - 565886.

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