Throughout 2017 a unique piece of art was taking shape, using the footprints of thousands of babies born at Hull Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Taken from each newborn with a splash of paint, the footprints now make up a colourful artwork, commemorating a landmark year in the life of our city.
The 12-month Born Into A City of Culture project was part of Hull 2017’s Creative Communities Programme, delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, a principal partner of Hull 2017. Hull’s tiniest feet built up pictures of different trees through the seasons. The leaves are made up of more than 5,000 footprints and the local midwives’ handprints act as the supporting tree trunks.
To celebrate the completion of this work of art Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust are holding a special event in the Guildhall for all those involved. If you played a part in this project you can book your slot now.
The artwork project was the brainchild of Sallie Ward, Community Midwifery Sister for Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Hospitals NHS Trust. The project involved hospital and community midwives, as well as midwifery assistants.
Sallie said: “The project has been a brilliant addition to what is already a moment of celebration, welcoming new babies into the world. What I loved about it was its inclusivity, it gave people who wouldn’t ordinarily see culture or art as ‘their thing’ be part of Hull’s brilliant year.
“Three of our midwives have their baby’s footprint along with her own handprint on the artwork, which is just so wonderful. The project has been brilliant and such a great experience to have been part of something so creative.”
A festive late-2017 addition to the artwork came in the form of baby Dillon. Her mother Cherona Sylvester, originally from Hull, was due to give birth on 30 December 2017 in London, where she now lives with her husband. Dillon had other plans. While visiting her family in Hull for Christmas, Cherona went into labour on Christmas Eve and within a few hours baby Dillon was born in the UK City of Culture.
Cherona said: “Welcoming Dillon into the world on Christmas Eve in Hull was the best Christmas gift and a perfect way for us to end an incredible year. My nephew Walter was born in Hull in May and my mum was desperate for our baby’s footprint to join his as part of the project, she got her wish!
“I’m delighted our daughter was born in Hull, especially during its year as the UK City of Culture. While I don’t live here now, I’m proud of my home city and it feels really special to have been part of its wonderful year.”
Hull’s final 2017 baby was born at 2pm on New Year’s Eve, ending the year with 5,390 babies born in Hull during the city’s year of arts and culture.
The celebration event will be a chance for parents to meet other families involved and be reunited with the midwives who delivered their City of Culture babies. There will be opportunities to purchase limited edition prints, canvases and postcards and there will be a photographer on-site to capture celebratory group photographs. You can find more details about the event here.
The celebration runs from 9am – 3pm on Wed 24 Jan. Families are required to book a one hour slot and should limit ticket purchases to four per family. Book your place now.