miss conception no.3
The Third in a series of small water colour retablos highlighting the ongoing reality and heart breaking tragedy of self-induced miscarriage. All text has been taken directly from internet advice and help forums.

The text from this retablo reads as:

“I was very angry when I heard the nurses on duty that day failed to attend to her because she attempted an abortion. She bled to death when they could save her life.” Edmund Agbeve, 27 (Ghana)


About Paula Chambers


Paula Chambers is an artist and arts educator currently living and working in West Yorkshire. Paula’s art practice is a three dimensional visual exploration of the dilemma of what it means to inhabit a female body. Investigating through technologies of making the deconstructi…Read more

Website: http://www.paulachambers.co.uk

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5 Responses to “Miss Conception No. 3”

  1. Helen Sargeant

    These paintings are really haunting and moving. The use of watercolour as a medium in combination with the challenging subject matter is really powerful. I associate the medium with polite, passive images, these watercolours are not. The subject resonates through its reference to actual events. The subject is distressing and tragic.

  2. Frances Earnshaw

    This work evokes the disturbing idea of the linking of birth and death. Traditionally, women have died in childbirth and it is a risky business. This is the experience of many women today in many countries. The psychological and physical manifestations of pregnancy go very deep, and when a woman cannot go through with it, there is great desperation. Some experiences leave us with the singularity of our aloneness. We mask the harshness of these moments in our Western society. Birth and death are glossed over.

  3. Helen Sargeant

    It is deeply upsetting Frances, I agree these two subjects are so huge, so important, but not talked about openly or addressed in our society. For a woman to die in pregnancy or childbirth is deeply tragic. We take for granted how privileged we are to live in the west where maternal death rates in pregnancy and childbirth are extremely low.

    This discussion led me to look at information and statistical data regarding global maternal mortality. I looked here at the World Health Organisations fact sheet on Maternal Mortality http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/ and here at data published on The World Bank website: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.STA.MMRT/countries/1W-CD?display=default

  4. Mo

    I appreciate your powerfully stark work…it helps me appreciate how privileged I am. I associate also to how we have our own version of cold inhumanity closer to home, where we often scapegoat in particular working class mothers and leave them to rot. We may destroy lives in less overtly violent ways.

  5. Eti

    Paula, is it possible to add the text of the works in the post because it’s a little difficult to read, especially in the ones where there’s more text. I’m really saddened by the paintings, the reality of women’s lives, the deep inequality and injustice. Feminism is still so important as a movement for global change. So much more that still needs to be done.


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