Image of the 'Birth' wallpaper installed in the Manchester Museum.



Above 'Conception' by Helen Knowles and Francesca Granato 2009. Hand screen printed wallpaper.


In 2006 Helen Knowles collaborated with designer Francesca Granato to create Birth Rites' signature pattern 'Birth'. The motifs which were chosen for the pattern were taken from lap dancers' calling cards; the aim was to challenge the perceived separation between women as mothers and women as sexual entities. As the figures are arranged in labouring and birthing postures the pattern also exposes the taboo which tries to conceal the undeniable link between sex and birth. The design was always intended to be used on wallpaper, a 'feminine' medium, thereby further mixing the domestic with the erotic.


Subsequently, Helen Knowles went on to develop both this pattern and another pattern entitled 'Conception' into wallpapers. 'Birth' was digitally printed by Kingfisher, Helen worked alongside Sharon Whitehurst to develop a hand printed, silk screen printed paper.


In February 2010 the two works will be featured in the show 'Walls are Talking' at the Whitworth Art Gallery. It is possible to buy Conception from the Whitworth Art Gallery shop or in our very own Birth Rites shop if you can not make it the show!







'Birth'  Helen Knowles and Francesca Granato. 2008. Digitally printed wallpaper.



Visit their website at www.kingfisher-graphics.co.uk.