Walking into Little Lives, an installation artwork by emerging artist Celeste Foord, you are impacted by the detail and gentle vessels floating before you.
A sea of suspended ceramic spheres, each hand etched with loose marks sunken into the surface. Every mark distinctive. The spheres encase small seeds, embryonic and free hanging. A sea of unfired, subtle soft tones capture your gaze. Each pod different, each shape individual. 2000 fragile forms delicately suspended mid-air.
Each as unique as the person they were created for.
“Little Lives consists of 2000 non-fired ceramic pods, providing visual to the leading cause of infant death in Australia; stillbirth. Each pod is handcrafted and special, uniquely representing a little life lost to stillbirth,” says Celeste.
This large installation encourages viewers to dive deep into their thoughts and picture these pods as babies, realising that it is far too many and evoke conversation about an ever-silenced subject. Celeste says, “Stillbirth isn’t inevitable. This ceramic installation has an opportunity to create awareness of stillbirth in a subtle yet impactful way. Given that half of these deaths each year are preventable, why not use art to help save lives?”
Celeste was personally affected by stillbirth after the death of her niece, Alfie, in 2014. Since then her life changed in ways she would have never imagined.
“Little Lives isn’t just for Alfie,” says Celeste. “It is for her fellow Angel babies chasing butterflies in the skies, and for the countless broken hearts which hold an emptiness for their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and loved ones.”
Celeste engaged with Still Aware, a local charity invested in ending preventable stillbirth, through raising awareness and giving voice the thousands of lives unnecessarily lost to stillbirth each year. It is incredible to see a visual of the 2000 babies each year that are stillborn in Australia, 50% of which the charity believes can be saved through raising awareness and sharing a safer pregnancy message.
Celeste also invited bereaved parents to take part in the creation of the pods in honour of their children.
Both the artist and the charity hope that the installation might be toured nationally to raise awareness and to offer others an opportunity to immerse themselves in the installation and experience Little Lives up close.
Celeste Foord, with support of local stillbirth awareness charity, Still Aware, presents a ceramic installation Little Lives in an exhibition as part of SALA at Port Mall, running until the 24th August.
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