Dear Santa Markova and staff of Riga Maternity Hospital!
A warm welcome to Kristīne Madjare - the photographer of this exhibition!
Dear parents and guests!
Thank you for inviting me to join you today at the opening of the exhibition "Birth" by photographer Kristīne Madjare at the Riga Maternity Hospital.
I am thrilled today because I have always felt at home professionally in maternity hospitals worldwide. In addition, I have a keen interest in looking at the photography of various artists.
When we browse news portals in the morning, we often read one sad story after another, alongside disturbing images. Even a person with a seemingly unshakable mental and emotional state at a certain point begins to feel tired and depressed.
Yet today’s exhibition - "Birth" – is a source of hope. The word alone evokes positive feelings - a new beginning, true joy, bright future, continuation, limitless possibilities.
Many thanks to photographer Kristīne Madjare for inspiring us today with her photographs in these trying times.
The staff of Riga Maternity Hospital know that every birth is as unique as each newborn itself. Labour can be fast or slow (communication is important here, explaining what medical staff consider to be slow labour, as well as accounting for the feelings of the expecting mother and father), and the childbirth can be very loud or very quiet.
The birth occurs in the delivery room, but occasionally in the corridor on the way there or even in the car in front of the maternity hospital.
With a newborn, the young couple become parents, their parents become grandparents, and in some families grandparents become great-grandparents. The family continues and lives on. This fact is very paramount for both the family and the country.
The sense of continuity is rooted deeply inside people; it gives them comfort and strength to carry on.
For me, childbirth is one of the most personal experiences a woman can have in her life. She feels a strength within herself that she did not know she had. At the same time, she is very vulnerable during this process.
The fact that the parents-to-be allowed the photographer to capture such an important moment in their lives is a testament to Kristīne Madjare's professionalism, but even more to her humanity.
Kristīne Madjare's photographs are aesthetic, far from being explicit or intrusive.
Once again, my sincere gratitude goes to the parents, the photographer and the staff of Riga Maternity Hospital!
Wishing you many birthdays today and all the days to come!