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Birth Reflections - Caroline Walker

£28.00
"When I first started speaking to UCLH about a residency there were a number of departments that interested me as potential subject matter. It wasn’t until I found out I was pregnant and began attending appointments at the hospital as an expectant mother that I began to develop a particular interest in the areas I was visiting. Trips to the maternity wing for scans, blood tests, antenatal classes and then the birth itself were both a new experience emotionally for me, but also visually. At some point during this period I decided that the maternity wing would make the ideal subject for my work, bringing together my personal relationship to this hospital with an ongoing interest in depicting women’s working lives through painting.”

The Fitzrovia Chapel is proud to present an exhibition of new large-scale paintings by artist Caroline Walker. They follow her recent residency with the maternity service in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing at University College London Hospitals (UCLH). Caroline Walker is known for painting women at work and often behind the scenes, from hotel maids to her own mother. This new series of paintings sees her capture midwives, doctors, cleaners and mothers, and is inspired by a series of four paintings by Frederick Cayley Robinson the ‘Acts of Mercy’. These large paintings, measuring 200 x 340 cm each, originally hung in the foyer of the Middlesex Hospital, of which The Fitzrovia Chapel is now the only remaining building. After the Middlesex Hospital was closed in 2005 and shortly after demolished, the paintings were acquired by the Wellcome Collection nearby. This exhibition presents three large paintings at the exact same size as the Cayley Robinson’s within the chapel: ‘Theatre’, ‘Ultrasound’ and ‘Birthing Pool’. There are also two smaller paintings: ‘First Nappy Change’ and ‘Newborn Check.’

Alongside the exhibition at The Fitzrovia Chapel, UCLH are displaying ink drawings and oil sketches from Caroline’s time at the hospital in their ground floor exhibition space, visible externally from Euston Road. These include the oil sketches of the large paintings on view at the chapel. The exhibition at UCLH will run from 18 February – 6 April, and is viewable by hospital staff and patients only in line with UCLH’s current visitor policy.

This catalogue features images of all works in both exhibitions, an interview with Caroline Walker and Guy Noble, arts curator at UCLH, and an essay by Hannah Watson, Chair of The Fitzrovia Chapel.

Fitzrovia Chapel, 2022
Edition of 500 copies
Softcover, 64pp
Inside 16 pages uncoated paper, 48 pages coated paper
double and single gatefold pull out
240 x 240 mm

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