Youtube Series is a set of seven large-scale screen-prints, each one a portrait of a woman in the act of childbirth. The portraits are stills taken from video footage found by the artist on Youtube, part of a vast library of homebirth films posted online by the women whose birth experiences are recorded.
The works featured in Youtube Series appropriate and re-present these women’s filmed experiences and connect to a wider international concern with social media as a tool to democratise what can often be tightly controlled and censored experiences.
Each print is created by exposing the screen with a digital projector, bestowing a pixelated quality to the image which directly references the digital origin of the source material. The virtual Youtube footage is now transferred into a physical object though the medium of print.
The entire YouTube print series was shown in an exhibition called Private View : Public Birth between the 16th - 22nd September 2013 at GV Art Gallery in London. During 2012 and 2013 works were exhibited at the Dean Clough Gallery, Galerie Deadfly, Berlin, Manchester Contemporary, Neo Art Prize and Goldsmiths University as part of the Women’s Art Library programme. Helen Knowles was awarded the Great Art prize in 2012 for two works from YouTube Portraits. Currently the works are being placed in collections, these include Museum of Motherhood, NY and Birth Rites Collection.