photo by Vincent van Gurp
This project is about the rejection of life, through an incapability of the body or mind to sustain it.
Every child older then 24 weeks receives an official burial and registration. To bury a fetus younger then 24 weeks is far more complicated by law and insurance. While the debate of when and where human life begins is still a contentious one in today’s society, the ‘Coffin for the Stillborn’ attempts only to respond to the emotional needs of the expecting parent, which often is neglected and dealt with in silence. Every parent, or parent to be, has the right to take part in an open grieving process and a choice of format in which to say the last goodbye. While the statistics of determining the start of human life is necessary from a legal point of view, our emotional realities are never so black and white.
After a miscarriage a lot of parents leave their child in the hospital. From here it will get a cremation, will be used for research or ends up in the hospital garbage. What a lot of parents don’t know is that they have the right to bring their child home and bury it. These six coffins in different sizes, which refer to the development of the fetus till the 24th week, give parents an opportunity to say goodbye. The coffins are made of biodegradable materials, which will break down within a few months and will fertilize the surrounding patch of grass, which will subtly mark the area for a few months longer.