Birth Rites Collection

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Helen Knowles & Francesca Granato, 2008,

Screenprinted Wallpaper, 10 m x 52 cm


Helen Knowles developed the pattern entitled 'Conception' into a wallpaper for the exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery ‘Walls Are Talking’ in 2010. Helen worked alongside Sharon Whitehurst to develop a hand silkscreen printed paper.  ‘Conception’ employs scientific illustrations of the male and female reproductive organs. From a distance the paper appears pretty and innocuous, reminiscent of Art Nouveau designs, but on closer inspection it is an up - front exploration of sexuality and gender. The diagrams of the reproductive organs repetitively and perfectly combine in a synergy that echoes coitus in gentle fleshy pink shades. The wallpaper in this context makes associations between domesticity and sex in a harmonious and celebratory fashion.