TV birth will focus on faith

07 March 2014

channel 4

On the set: Sheona Beaumont (third from right) and her husband, the Revd Adam Beaumont

On the set: Sheona Beaumont (third from right) and her husband, the Revd Adam Beaumont

BEFORE giving birth to her first child, Sheona Beaumont avoided watching One Born Every Minute, deeming it to be "too raw, too real".

By the time she was pregnant with her second child, she was ready not only to watch the programme, which documents births in close detail, but to participate in it. Furthermore, she is planning to use the reaction to the episode to create a piece of artwork.

Mrs Beaumont, an artist, who is married to the Revd Adam Beaumont, Assistant Curate of Holy Trinity, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, has been commissioned to contribute to the Birth Online: Birth Offline art project, which will explore perspectives on public birth. It will form part of the Birth Rites Collection, on permanent public display at the University of Salford and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London.

She plans to produce two lenticular prints - printed images which create the illusion of 3D or animation (below). One will depict herself in labour, based on screenshots from her appearance on One Born Every Minute. The other will combine text and images conveying reaction to the episode, probably including tweets.

 On Tuesday, she said that the producers of the show had focused on her Christian faith, including a visit from the hospital chaplain, who read Psalm 62 after she had given birth. She spoke of her desire to see the Church play a greater part in marking and celebrating birth.

"I really remember feeling after my first child's birth that women are massive achievers in going through childbirth and labour, and the celebration that should surround them in that is something that the Church can take up and give voice to," she said. She had found a Church Times article about churching (Features, 30 March, 2012) "really inspiring. I always felt really strongly that it is bit of a loss in the Church of England that we do not hold it up in the same way as weddings and funerals."

The episode of One Born Every Minute in which Mrs Beaumont features will be screened on Monday on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. Contributions can be made to her artwork by tweeting #OneBorn and #Birth_rites.

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