Art and words exploring infant loss – The Amulet

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By Rose Rushe

Her Christening Gown from The Amulet exhibition, Maria Fitzhenry and Marie Brett
Her Christening Gown from The Amulet exhibition, Maria Fitzhenry and Marie Brett

THE AMULET, a national exhibition tour exploring infant loss, will open at University Maternity Hospital Limerick for two days on Friday September 25 and and Saturday 26.
Shedding light on an often hidden aspect of Irish life, the exhibition stems from The Amulet project (2009-2013), a collaboration between artist Marie Brett, bereaved parents, and three hospital sites.
These are Limerick, Cork University Maternity Hospital and Waterford Regional Hospital, each venue hosting the show for several days.

Anamnesis:
1. Psychology: A recalling to memory; recollection.
2. Medicine: A patient’s case history, especially using recollections.
[Attic Greek word meaning reminiscence and/ or memorial sacrifice]
[Irish Gaelic ‘Anam’, meaning Soul]

Bereaved parents worked with artist Marie Brett to locate an amulet they possessed that had significance to the loss of their baby.
She recorded the stories behind each together with visual materials gifted by the parents as a basis for this poignant art work, open to all.
The gifts to the show’s shared sense are identity bracelets, a wee christening gown and, after Earnest Hemingway, “Baby shoes, never worn”. Needless to say, nought is for sale in this emotional terrain.

Marie Brett
Marie Brett

Intimate and relatable, The Amaulet may help you feel and think differently about such bereavement, the attendant crush of hope and expectation and love.