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Pauline Cummins

​Artist & Lecturer, National College of Art & Design, Dublin

Pauline Cummins is an artist whose work explores the human condition from a feminist perspective. Her interest lies in performance and video work where she examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in society. Her examination of specific locations questions how the self is constituted and how people act within a group either chosen or determined in social situations such as work, education, prison, leisure time, or within the basic structure of the family.

She has had video installations commissioned for the Neo-natal unit, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, in 1995 and with Firestation artists’ studios for Inner Art, where her video installations were shown in confession boxes, in 1997.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, and is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. She presented her new video work and performance, Sound the Alarm 4, in Victoria, Canada, in September 2010. She took part in Right Here Right Now Irish Performance Art in Kilmainham Jail in 2011 and in 2012 she will present her work alongside her longtime collaborator Sandra Vida at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris. (Information found on The Artist Collective Website: )

​Maralyn Foureur

Professor of Midwifery, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia  

The title of Maralyn’s presentation
is:  Does the birth environment influence the neurophysiology of labouring women and their unborn babies?
Maralyn is both a registered midwife and nurse with over 30 years

Maralyn is currently the Professor of Midwifery for the Central Coast and Northern Sydney Local Health Networks and the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at UTS. She has led research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care and the development of midwifery practice and education. Her other research includes a major focus on how the Birth Unit Design impacts on women and staff stress, communication, and ultimately birth outcomes.

(Additional information from: )

Helen Knowles

Artist & Curator of Birth Rites Collection, housed between Royal College of Gynaecologists & Obstetricians, London & Salford University Midwifery Depatment, Manchester

Helen Knowles is an artist and curator of the Birth Rites collection. Currently a British

Council, Young Creative Entrepreneur, she has curated and commissioned work for internationally renowned projects which include; ‘Birth Rites’, Manchester Museum
/Glasgow Science Centre and ‘Don’t Cross the line’. Other shows include ‘Agitate’ and ‘Radio Halo’. She has shown work in the ‘One Tree’ exhibition and Gallery Oldham’s
touring show ‘Wild flowers - their Art and Science’. Recent shows include ‘Walls are
Talking’ Whitworth Art Gallery (2010) and ‘After London’ (2010) Sassoon Gallery,

Her work is in The Whitworth Art Gallery Collection, Tate Collection, Birth Rites Collec-
tion and Gallery Oldham Collection. She works as a freelancer leading workshops
with The Whitworth Art Gallery and the House of Illustration.

(Information from: )


​Jo Murphy-Lawless, Sociologist, Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin  

I teach in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, TCD. I am also a member of the cross-national Birth Project Group bringing together the following bodies since 2008: TCD, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and the Pregnancy and Parents Centre Edinburgh. The group’s remit is to hold workshops and support activities for birth activists, birth educators, midwifery students and newly qualified midwives.

The Reimagining Birth International Research Symposium being held in UCD could not be coming at a more crucial time. Women in Ireland are experiencing first hand the problems stemming from maternity services which are reaching breaking point, exacerbated by the general economic collapse. 

The Symposium gives us the chance to help women rethink and to see again what birth can and should be about, good birth, safe birth for all women.

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