Clare Archibald (Scotland, Burntisland)
Gift Wrapped (2015)
Poetry installation & performance (audio)
The actual idea for this work came from my own personal experience of giving birth to a baby that I knew would either be born dead or die shortly afterwards. My daughter lived for minutes but has obviously had a huge impact on our lives in many ways.
The box that we were given by the midwife – containing pictures and hair, etc. – has come to represent many things in the period since and I wanted to try to articulate some of that complexity.
Our box is pink; a colour I would never have chosen myself. It is both a comfort and a sometimes insurmountable iconic object. My partner and I have had very different emotional responses, and indeed relationships, with the box and I wanted to explore a bit of how it has been a conduit for finding a new version of us.
Clare Archibald has written, performed and published poetry, short stories and/or filmpoems dealing with different aspects of losing a child. She is currently working on a book of experimental creative nonfiction that is an exploration of loss, choice and the words of women in relation to this.