Picking Up the Threads: Women’s Lives Remembered. Remaking the Fabric of Care to Learn from Maternal Deaths.
This is a Multi-media exhibition by the Elephant Collective to commemorate women who have died in our maternity services.
Between 2007 and 2014, there were inquests for eight of these women, all of which ended in verdicts of death by medical misadventure.
The Elephant Collective, a group of educators, midwives and student midwives and birth activists, formed in 2014 with the aim of raising public awareness of:
· the tragedy of maternal death
· the need for legislation to ensure an automatic inquest following all maternal deaths
· the need for vastly improved disclosure of hospital and HSE reporting on tragic and adverse incidents in our maternity services to make then fully open to public scrutiny
We called ourselves The Elephant Collective because when the elephant is giving birth, the herd surrounds her to keep her and her calf safe. Our multi-media exhibition includes
· a knitted quilt, made by over one hundred contributors from across the island of Ireland and beyond, many of the small pieces for which came from Donegal women
· showings of the documentary, Picking up the Threads, which has been made about this project
· portraits of the eight women who have had inquests following their maternal deaths
· a framed cross-stitch panel of the names of the eight women, made by local Donegal woman, Louise McCrossan
· a knit a stitch and keep the thread going work open to all who wish to contribute a row or two or more of knitting
· yarn bombing contributions from Donegal and Derry
· a national petition to the incoming Minister for Justice to secure the amendment for a legal inquest in the face of all maternal deaths
· the chance for groups to meet in the course of the exhibition and chat about what is needed to improve maternity service locally in Donegal