Still Life project gallery

The Still Life project ran in Greater Manchester from January 2019 to December 2020. It aimed to engage Jewish women in discussions about stillbirth and stillbirth research.

Stillbirth occurs when a baby dies after 24 weeks of pregnancy before or during birth. It is a devastating event affecting up to 1 in every 225 pregnancies in the UK.

Research being carried out at The University of Manchester’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC) aims to understand the reasons why stillbirth happens and how it can be prevented. A lot of this research focuses on the placenta, the organ that is formed in the womb during pregnancy that is essential for supporting the life and growth of the baby.

The Still Life project was created to:

  • raise awareness of stillbirth;
  • provide a safe space for women who had experienced the loss of a baby to explore this and help break the taboo around talking about stillbirth;
  • provide an opportunity for women who had experienced the loss of a baby to meet with researchers and to learn from each other;
  • help understand the Greater Manchester Jewish community’s opinions and priorities for future pregnancy research.

The Still Life project involved 12 women from Greater Manchester’s Jewish community who had experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and/or the death of their baby shortly after birth.

Watch the videos below to hear from those who took part in the project. For optimal viewing, we recommend expanding the videos to full screen.




Workshops and gallery

Along with midwives, researchers from the MFHRC, and the Jewish Maternity Liaison Services, women took part in a series of creative workshops which explored personal experiences of loss and how research fits within this whole experience.

The workshops

The workshops focused on a different theme each week to help guide both the art and the discussion. However, participants were free to create pieces that reflected what they wanted to focus on.

Workshop themes included:

  • My womb and me
  • Silence and loss
  • The placenta
  • Why?
  • Research
  • Care and support

The gallery

This online gallery showcases some of the artwork created at each of the workshops, including drawings, collage, silk painting, and clay sculptures.

You can also download a booklet of the artwork created.


My womb and me



Silence and loss

“I had very little idea of the people around me who had been through losses because it’s kept very quiet in our community.”
– Workshop participant



The placenta

“The placenta is one organ but acts like a kidney, a lung, a heart, a liver and all other sorts of things for the baby.”
– Researcher







“I had no idea that there was any sort of research or that it’s complex and there could be thousands of reasons why women have stillbirth.”
– Workshop participant



Care and Support

“This project helped us to work with the Jewish community to understand more about their experiences of care, what was important to them, and what could we do differently.”
– Specialist midwife


With thanks to…

All the women who took part in the project, artist Chava Erlanger for leading the sessions, Alex Silverstone for her continued support and community engagement, and Wellcome for funding this project.



Getting in touch

If you’d like to know more about the Still Life project, please contact us.