Exhibitors Official Communication/ Official Press Release
Without a name, an unseen face
Without a name; an unseen face and knowing not your time nor place, Tomorrow’s Child, though yet unborn, I met you first last Tuesday morn. The beginnings of this poem by Glenn Thomas was read by Ray Anderson during his TED conference talk regarding sustainability, but today its ethos is being addressed by the charity Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK who are facilitating an exhibition in Parliament, to continue focusing the hearts and minds of policymakers regarding the experience of being a baby in the UK.
The origins of Monday’s Child is fair of face rhyme with its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century, used a fortune telling methodology to predict the life chances of childhood. Today there is incontrovertible scientific understanding which is contributing to policy discussions of the 1001 Critical days: conception to age 2 period – asking for a cultural shift in thinking about the importance of the antenatal period and its significance for future life chances of the unborn baby.
Tomorrow’s child exhibition presents a creative response to the only cross-party children’s manifesto in the country which brings together a coalition of policy-makers, professionals and parents, to enable the village around the infant-family in our local communities.
Should the day in which you are born determine your life chances? Giving every baby the best possible start in life presents us with a challenge and responsibility to consider together what that looks like in the UK. How well we are doing with what science and economics is showing us is a progressive way of thinking for better outcomes for our citizens.
Earliest relationships and children’s experiences of this right from their experience in the womb, lays the foundations of potential and building blocks to support infant and early childhood mental health.
Creative collaborations between a community of 60 artists and scientists have generated a fascinating menagerie of art objects, images and designs, which positions this exhibition as a pioneering piece of neuroscientific enterprise.
Building babies minds has been a recent campaign launched by the charity PIPUK, recently saw over 10 million people across the UK engaged in raising awareness of infant mental health in the first national week of its kind. Infant mental health and its public message of prevention as cure, contributes significantly to children’s mental health and it is in this context that thinking about a child’s life chances can be thought about – preventonomics to give a better start for investing into our future generations.
Tim Loughton MP says “There is a growing acknowledgment that those first early years of a child’s life are absolutely crucial. Getting it right as parents supported by professional help and public investment where needed has the potential to make a huge difference to how that child will grow into an adult contributing to society.
Putting this approach at the heart of what Government does in which there is now buy in of all the political parties. I’m delighted to be sponsoring the Tomorrow’s Child exhibition in Parliament which is a creative response to the 1001 critical days’ manifesto from a community of artists and scientists who have worked in collaboration over many months to bring the arts and science together for such an important topic”.
Bringing art and science together to represent the names and faces of the 776,352 babies born each year in the UK and the many losses which add up to 3,564 stillbirths, 42,841 recorded miscarriages and around 186,000 through termination of pregnancy brings a focus for the infant-family and all of the joys and sorrows experienced in homes throughout our villages, towns and cities.
I am very excited to finally share with you that at the beginning of 2016 I’ve been selected to collaborate with a scientist for an Art & Science project responding to the 1001 Critical Days cross party Manifesto with an exhibition as a creative response at the UK Houses of Parliament titled ‘Tomorrow’s Child’. The project brings artists and scientists together to respond to the topic of the pregnancy and the child development from the conception until the age of two and raise awareness of the importance of social and emotional wellbeing. The exhibition covers different aspects of child development from the conception until age of two.
I’ve been paired to collaborate with Kitty Hagenbach, perinatal and parent/child psychotherapist with 25 years experience in the fields. After our conversations on the topic I’ve decided to put the mother and the baby together in a womb as their relationship start since the conception. Everything what the mother feels and experience affects the embryo and the future human being’s life, which play a huge role for our society and the quality of life.
My works are like a huge colorful ultrasound images capturing the baby’s emotional movements in the womb during pregnancy. The drawn fingers represent the very unique touch and emotion exchanged between the mother and the baby. My art installation and Kitty Hagenbach’s scientific abstract paper are titled ‘Deepest Imprints’ as during the baby’s development in the womb all of the mother's emotional experiences imprints in the future human being and affect every aspect of life.
The artwork 'Perfect Harmony’ shows the mother and the baby in a harmonious relationship, which is result of the mother’s happy state of mind. The second artwork ‘Anxious Touch’ showing the mother that is stressed from the life’s difficulties, result of an unsupported pregnancy. The baby feels all the emotions and feelings experiences from the mother. You can see the baby’s foot kicking out and the hands touching the mother’s face trying to calm her. I’ve made the mother hands bigger as she has to be able to manage with everything by herself and to remain strong enough to keep good care of her child.
Exhibition dates: 27th June – 1st July 2016
Unfortunately the exhibition will not be open to the public, but you can visit the exhibition website and take a look at all the artworks exhibited, read the scientist’s abstracts and the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto which has the support from every party across the UK. The Manifesto is a key policy commitment to achieving better perinatal mental health and stronger attachments between babies and their parents.
The previous Children’s Minister Tim Loughton MP sponsors the exhibition, which showcases nationally recognized artists and scientists.
The images of my two artworks you can see above and below the text.
Artist - Valeriya N-Georg
Below is Kitty Hagenbach's abstract paper.
“Emotion-based mother-infant attachment communications are essential because they directly affect the development of the brain” Dr Allan Schore.1
Valeriya’s artworks depict mother and baby in the womb – our introduction to the world. They highlight the powerful impact of a pregnant mother’s psychological, emotional and physical state on her child’s development during the first 1001 days.
The emerging science of epigenetics reveals that genes can be switched on and off by the environment, therefore the experience in utero exerts a significant influence on a baby’s life-long mental and physical development; our health at every level is determined by our experience in the womb.2
‘Perfect Harmony’ shows mother and baby in attunement; baby feels safe, secure, trusting and loved. Successful prenatal bonding fosters secure attachment, a crucial foundation for all subsequent development. A contented baby is a joy to care for and likely to meet their developmental milestones and reach their full potential.3
“Meeting these emotional needs fosters secure attachment. Secure attachment leads to a background state of emotional wellbeing, and emotional wellbeing is critical to physical wellbeing.’1
‘Anxious Touch’ offers a contrasting reality; mother and baby looking away from one another as though appealing to the outside world for help. This mother appears unsupported, stressed, perhaps frightened. Her baby seems equally disturbed, anxiously kicking out while caressing mother’s face, seeking to comfort her. We sense baby’s insecurity, isolation, confusion and fear. This reduces the likelihood of reaching full term or later being able bond or attach securely. A stressed baby is difficult to care for, and may develop behavioural or mental health problems.4
We have an opportunity and a duty to raise worldwide awareness of the crucial importance of the first 1001 days. Our goal is to make available and accessible a range of early interventions and support for pregnant women and their families. By enhancing the experience of mothers and the babies they carry we can foster a healthier, more compassionate and caring society, reducing dependence on government and world resources.
Collaborating with Valeriya has been truly inspiring; the fingers in her images reference the many ways in which we touch one another. Artist and scientist, yet we are united in our conviction that every aspect of mother’s experience during pregnancy has a formative influence upon her baby. I feel the images born out of our shared understandings convey with great clarity the importance of nurturing our life enhancing ‘Deepest Imprints’.
Kitty Hagenbach MA Dip Psych
Perinatal and Parent/Child Psychotherapist.
1 Schore A on Life Long Health http://www.letsgrowkids.org/blog/dr-allan-schore-early-relationships-lifelong-health#sthash.SHmlct1q.dpuf [accessed 16 May 2016].
2 Glover V, June 2014, Royal College of Psychiatrists The impact of prenatal depression, stress and anxiety on the emotional, behavioural and cognitive development of the child; implications for prenatal psychiatry.http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/IC14 S32 Glover Vivette.pdf [accessed18 May2016].
3 Wirth, F, Prenatal Parenting, chapter 1, page 7, Regan Books, USA, 2001.
4 Gerhardt, S, Why Love Matters, chapter 1 page 21, 2nd edition, Routeledge, UK, 2015.
You can find more about Kitty Hagenbach on her website: Just klick here