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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

Andrew Foster

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.”

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