Gallery hosts exhibition on how men deal with miscarriages
People see you and think, well he’s got two kids – a lovely wife. But underneath this, a nightmare is going on'
05 December, 2016 — By Tom Foot
AN exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the way men cope with miscarriages is on display in Kentish Town.
Artist and university lecturer Andrew Foster, 48, started a project after his wife, originally from Hampstead, had three miscarriages within a year.
The Love Dad display, in Free Space Gallery, Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town Health Centre, looks at the everyday experiences of fatherhood and includes sculpture, paintings and a film, created by Megan Beattie.
Mr Foster said: “What I noticed happening was that friends and family, not in a disrespectful way, would ask, ‘How’s your wife?’ It made me start thinking, not in a competitive way, that a lot of people don’t think miscarriage happens to men.
“I started doing some work on it, not with any major intent. I was thinking, how comfortable am I talking about this – as a man? Miscarriage is taboo. You laud that, being a man. You don’t own the subject. It is not a competition for attention, but I thought it was interesting.”
Mr Foster, who lives in Muswell Hill, originally created a 72ft scroll painting that aims to show how an “awfulness sits within” what, on the outside, appears to be his “perfect life”.
He added: “People see you and think, well he’s got two kids – a lovely wife. But underneath this, a nightmare is going on.”
Talking about the confirmation of one of the miscarriages during a scan, he said: “I assumed everything would just work out hunky-dorily, as the man often does. Then they say, ‘sorry, there’s no heart-beat’. The idea that you are told this in the same space as people who are finding out good news about their babies – it is a clash of universes.”
The exhibition – which is being held in collaboration with the Miscarriage Association – is described as “not sentimental or depressing” and having “authenticity, integrity and a tenderness.”