Still Born

Each Egg a World Online

Each Egg a World Online from Adinda van 't Klooster on Vimeo.

The online artwork is based on the Each Egg a World painting made by Adinda van ’t Klooster in 2017. It contains 44,061 dots that together create patterns of human female egg cells inside a larger egg shape. Each dot represents a stillbirth and all that that entails. In the online version of the artwork it is possible to select one of the dots and name it after a stillborn baby; this can be done by either the mother or the father of the baby or by both parents together. The participant(s) can then write a brief (up to 250 word) anonymous description of their experience of stillbirth and related emotions. A named dot will turn red and once the statement has been reviewed it will be readable online when hovering over the named dot. Anybody, including people who have not directly experienced stillbirth, can view the statements and give feedback on the artwork. It is hoped that the artwork will help to break the taboo on stillbirth and make people feel slightly better equipped with understanding when they come across a stillbirth in their own communities.

Experience the artwork Give feedback

The definition of a stillbirth differs in different countries. The World Health Organisation recommends for international comparison that the definition is: a baby born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks' gestation. However, the UK uses a cut off point of 24 weeks and in the United States the term stillbirth is used for the loss of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth can be further classified as early (20-27 weeks), late (28-36 weeks) or term stillbirth (37 or more weeks of pregnancy). In this artwork, stillborn babies can be entered from 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In the online artwork there is a search function which allows the viewer to type in a word that they think might be one that will be repeatedly used (for example anger or sadness or love), and when they click the search icon all the dots where statements used this word will highlight. Once the artwork is more densely populated this will be a quick way to explore the range of emotions raised by a stillbirth.

This artwork hopes to create an inclusive picture of the impact that a stillbirth can have on people’s lives. It is common complaint of people who have experienced a stillbirth that the magnitude of their loss is ill understood by their wider community and that although they would like to talk about it, they feel pressure to stay quiet because it is such a difficult topic.

It will also be possible to visit the artwork in three physical venues in London, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne, see here.

An evaluation survey will go live in the fall, it will be used to evaluate if the artwork has helped to reduce some of the stigma experienced by those who suffered a stillbirth.

If you know anyone who has experienced a stillbirth please invite them to participate in the artwork, which is online at https://stillbornproject.org.uk/eacheggaworld/

If you would like to help us promote the Each Egg a World online artwork please download an information pack with a sample article and further information here.

Feedback received:

A sample of responses gathered so far to the artwork –

From people who contributed their experience of stillbirth

Any way that we can share about stillbirth is worthwhile to get the conversation going to hopefully get more funding into research. I found this artwork comforting to hear other stories and I loved being able to share my baby boy's story in another way. Our greatest fear as bereaved parents is our baby being forgotten and this type of thing helps us to share about them and a piece of them will always exist through this.
An artwork is another way in to the experience. Some people respond to words, pictures, etc and this is another angle in the experience. So powerful, seeing and reading all the stories and babies. Thank you
To see others suffering eases your own in a way I will never understand.
It is nice to feel part of a group and understand that we are not alone in this very bumpy journey.
Fellow sufferers understand you better than anyone ever.
It's a platform for expressing emotions which other people around us cannot understand.
It is sad to see so many dots, but being part of the babyloss community, we all feel, and understand, the need to keep our babies memories alive.
Each comment, each like, each share gets bereaved parents talking. Our babies are all together on one perfect art work.
In a world still so afraid of stillbirth and grieving parents, finding somewhere to talk openly and freely is so crucial for the healing process. As with everything in life, you can only know when you know, and my experience of stillbirth and my own healing process is definitely benefiting from speaking with and listening to parents, particularly mums because I am one, talk about their babies with mums who have lived experience of this unimaginable loss. Giving space and a place to honour my daughter and to be able to have her name known in the world has been crucial for me, I am grateful for discovering Adinda’s artwork.
I believe that most women feel like they are alone in the loss. The society makes the mom feel like it is her fault but with this art the burden is lighter and you get to really feel that your baby matters.
To not feel alone is important. To be a part of something bigger, a community will make you feel less stigmatised, different and lonely. Great and beautiful idea! thanks
It is very important to be with others, not alone. This project makes visible that we are many people living this pain. Thank you.
It will (help break the taboo on stillbirth) as this is a subject not talked about. I talk about my little girl born sleeping all the time. She is one of our family too and always will be. I believe I have 7 children, not just 3 and that is what I tell people. It also helps them understand who I am as a person: kind, compassionate and caring.
Since losing my baby back in March 2020, I felt alone with most people in society. I felt unable to speak Sophia's name without judgement and sorrowful looks. But I began a blog and as months went on more bereaved mothers reached out to me, I no longer felt alone and people who haven't experienced a loss of a child but have read my blogs have also reached out to me because they've said they've learned more from them. I believe this artwork will help society realise that although our hearts are broken, and a piece will always be missing. That missing piece is filled with love for our baby and it's something I will never be ashamed of. This work of art will show the similarities each parent feels, it will help bereaved parents know they're not alone but it'll help society realise that there is more love than sadness, and that love needs to be celebrated for our babies. - Stephanie (Mama to Sophia)
I think it's a beautiful way to break the taboo, to get people talking, to bring people together.
This artwork shows how common stillbirth is - to visually see so many dots each representing an individual and unique story. A sense that such a personal and devastating event is one shared by so many.
I have been blown away by the community and support I have discovered since losing Giorgia, but I feel there is still a way to go in raising awareness of stillbirth. Artwork like this can continue to help foster the community and keep the conversation going. If each person who names a dot shares the artwork that would make a significant statement.
Amazing project really truly amazing!
I’m not sure that an artwork will break the taboo - so my answer isn’t a black and white no - the sense of community and the conversations that this community will create I know are powerful tools - what may come out of feeling acceptance, non-isolation, a sense of true community and understanding, is what will hopefully give the right people comfort and confidence - and it’s these people we need to break the taboo!
It is comforting to know I am not alone in my loss and that there are others out there who understand how I feel. It is also lovely to have anywhere that I can put my Nicole's name and know that maybe someone else will see it and just for a moment think of her.

From people who visited the Each Egg a World artwork

It happens to all sorts of people
I can relate to the comments that I read having experience stillbirth five years ago with my baby Jonas. It's important that we can all be more open about stillbirth and support those families who are going through the trauma. It's essential that more research is done to help avoid little lives being lost. Thank you for your work Adinda in helping stillbirth be talked about and understood.
I was surprised at how common stillbirth is and reflected that it isn’t seen or spoken about as part of many people’s lives. It made me think about health inequalities and how women’s health is more broadly still taboo.
My first understanding of baby loss was when I was a child and my mum cried. She was 39 weeks pregnant and was told her babies heart had stopped beating. I remember sobbing for her, for her baby and for the big brother who would never never meet his younger sibling. Again, when I was in my 20s a colleague went on maternity leave, but without a baby to cradle in her arms and again I sobbed for her. Neither time did I speak to the women about this loss, I only projected my feelings onto them. Flash forward to my first pregnancy loss (at 14 weeks) and I felt a pain I didn’t know it was possible to live through…suddenly I had an idea and I remembered those women and I remembered weeping for them, and I knew my pain was not the same. This artwork is beautiful and perfect and important. Parents left with a gaping space in their arms and hearts deserves place to express that. Well done.
Today, 10 years after the stillbirth of my dear niece, I am reminded of the importance of breaking the taboo on this subject. I experience much love for her, even though I never got to see her alive in this life. I hope someday all people experiencing stillbirth will be able to share this great grief freely, and that they feel understood and supported. Thank you, dear sister, for speaking up!
I once worked closely with three young women who were all expecting their first child at roughly the same time. Two gave birth to a healthy baby, a son and daughter respectively. The third suffered a stillbirth. It was very difficult to know what to say in the circumstances - the joy of two women and the devastation of the third. She left the company, moved away and eventually had a healthy child. Life moved on. The need to say anything seemed to have been overtaken by events. I think through this artwork and the testimonies of others I now understand what she was going through and have a better idea of what I could have/should have said.
Stillbirth is still taboo. A lonely place to be because our community turns away and people don't want to talk about the fact that babies sometimes die.
So many people going through the same heartache.
It was very moving and made me realise the importance of breaking the taboo in order that people can share their experiences. I hope that Each Egg a World raises awareness and helps to bring support to those that have experienced this terrible loss.
It's beautiful to read how much love people feel for their babies but so sad they had to lose them. It's also made me aware of how important it is to let people talk about their baby and to actively ask questions about them rather than ignore the issue.
This is painful to get an insight to but important for everyone to understand. Thank you to everyone that shared their stories.
The artist should be proud to have provided a forum for such powerful human experiences, which still functions aesthetically. It will be intriguing to see the transformation in the work as statements accrue, with more and more detail at greater zoom levels. The art object here has true potential social impact.
The human spirit in the face of such great pain and loss is in powerful evidence throughout the contributed statements. No matter the distance in time, the memory cannot be escaped, and the artwork can only help a wider understanding of the grief and love of bereaved parents in a society which still suffers over and over again.
Tenemos que dar visibilidad. - We have to give visibility.

The Still Born project has been supported by