King’s Cultural Community

Showcasing success 2017–18

The Birth Rites Collection

King’s hosts world’s first collection of contemporary artwork dedicated to childbirth

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Click thumbnails for enlarged view

The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care is hosting The Birth Rites Collection, the world’s only contemporary artwork collection centred on childbirth
and motherhood, on Guy’s Campus at London Bridge.


This unique and powerful collection features photography, sculpture, painting and film alongside many other forms of artistic interpretation, offering a rich educational and research resource for staff, students and visitors to explore through bespoke tours and personal learning.


The Birth Rites Collection was created by artist and curator Helen Knowles in 2008 to encourage wider debate about the politics and practice of childbirth through art. It launched at King’s with live screening events and an announcement of the winner of The Birth Rites Competition for New Work 2018.

A Conflict of Interests by Lauren McLoughlin, a visual exploration of identity struggles as a mother, was awarded the bi-annual prize for new work and is now part of the collection. McLaughlin is now a resident artist in the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care and her neon artwork can be found alongside work from artists including Ana Casas Broda, Suzanne Holtom, Tabitha Moses and Liv Pennington.


The Birth Rites Collection is open to visitors, with monthly lunchtime tours hosted by Helen Knowles and artists featured within the exhibition.


It can be found across Guy’s Campus in New Hunt’s House, Hodgkin Building, and in the Henrietta Raphael Building, with artworks housed within the Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre* available to view during monthly tours.


The collection is being hosted by the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care until 2021.

*King’s ID card holders with relevant access permissions can view the exhibition in the Chantler Simulation & Interactive Learning Centre at any time during the building’s opening hours.

Main image: Ana Casas Broda, Kinderwunsch

The Birth Rites Collection is creating an enriching environment for our students and I am excited about the opportunities for interdisciplinary education and research it is providing.

Dr Elsa Montgomery, Department of Midwifery, The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care

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