Exhibition features the very breast

Photographer and artist Kim Vermeulen has an exhibition on breastfeeding at the Solaris centre
Photographer and artist Kim Vermeulen has an exhibition on breastfeeding at the Solaris centre
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A Blackpool ex-pat chose her hometown as the venue for her latest exhibition.

Photographer Kim Vermeulen’s exhibition iam breasfeeding runs until the end of the month, at The Solaris, New South Promenade, South Shore.

It features beautiful photographic images of breastfeeding women from Lancashire, including across the Fylde coast.

Kim, who now lives in Holland with her husband and two children, studied photography at Blackpool and the Fylde College, before going on to complete her masters at UClan in Preston.

The 33-year-old said the subject matter was sparked partly by her own experiences of breast-feeding.

She said: “It was a photography project where I asked mothers, from mostly North Lancashire, if they wanted to have their photo taken while breastfeeding in their chosen environment.

“It was important for me it was natural and I asked them to look into the camera, so it was about communicating with the viewer.

“It’s quite a literal representation of contemporary breastfeeding.

“I didn’t try to say anything about it.

“I don’t feel a lot of popular artwork is particularly representative of breastfeeding. It can be hard for women to relate to them.

“These are mothers, who have something in common – they breastfeed. But they all have different stories and different experiences.

“All of them had a real passion to help others, by sharing their experiences.

“I think my interest started from my own experience of breastfeeding. I was very naive, it was not what I expected.

“And I had excellent support from the local breastfeeding network.

“But it made me think, I don’t know where my ideas about breastfeeding came from.”

Kim also interviewed each mum whose shot she took – 56 portraits in all, to give more detail about their story, including their name and baby’s age, which she felt were important to give them an identity.

She allowed the women to be photographed wherever they wanted and with whoever they wanted, to make each picture look natural, with the mum being as comfortable as possible.

She chose June to exhibit as it is breast feeding Awareness Month and she chose the Solaris as she wanted a venue accessible to the mums.

“I wanted it to be somewhere the mums themselves could come and see the exhibition.

“The Solaris is a great venue as it is family-friendly, it has a cafe, mums can feel comfortable bringing their children.

“I’m looking to move it around and tour some other locations once the exhibition finishes at the end of June.”

• The Solaris Centre is open Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am until 4pm.

• To find out more about Kim, visit kimjv.co.uk or www.facebook.com/kimvermeulenphotography