Since austerity measures were put in place by successive governments in 2010, and the announcement of Brexit, over three thousand midwives have left the NHS, which now loses 29 midwives for every 30 it trains. The exodus has been described as “a national emergency.”
The consequences of this are both tragic and dire. Women lose their careers due to being unable to perform the role safely; women experience unnecessarily traumatic and difficult births and in some cases die through an entirely preventable lack of care. Studies have shown repeatedly that this disproportionately affects women of colour.
The piece consists of concrete panels pierced with openings in a perfect grid to reflect the number of midwives that have left the NHS. Situated on a plinth, a light shines through them, the reflections of which create a multiplying effect, representing the fact that each midwife is meant to see multiple patients each day.