‘Birth Songs’

Shown at Rich Mix, London as part of a group exhibition organised by Amnesty London, January 2014. The exhibition focussed on maternal, HIV and LGBT rights.

This painting is made entirely through the act of writing. Lyrics have been taken from songs playing just before and just after the birth of my daughter at 8.25pm on 11 May 2013, layering up over one another to form the landscape of the painting.

The ipod was on shuffle; these were the songs that happened to be playing at the time. On painting the words, I remind myself of both the sense of hope and of anticipation on the imminent arrival of my newborn. And how what a universal experience to humanity this is, across time and place.

I am very thankful for the health of my baby and myself following her birth. Every year there are 3 million mothers who will see their babies die in the first month of their life. And every year 1/2 million babies won’t get to meet their mothers when they are born.

I know you by heart / Night bird / You are the everything / Sweet Lullaby / Until the end of the world / Keep on trying / Let it go / I love you, I love you, like never before / Hymn to her / Breathe a little deeper / Deep forest / Into my arms / Meadowlark / Hallelujah / the songbird keeps singing / Will you be there in the end?