Portable Collage Studio
Gloucester Royal Hospital and Arts In Trust,
(March – September 2007)
This project was produced by Willis Newson and formed part of the first year of Art Lift.
I was invited to work with patients and staff from the Head and Neck Injuries Ward at Gloucester Royal Hospital, to re-imagine their everyday surroundings with a view to improving patient well-being.
During weekly sessions I wheeled a medical trolley around the ward making collages with patients and their visitors at bedsides, in waiting rooms, corridors or by nurses’ stations. A collaborative process emerged that began with a conversation about their responses to black and white photographs of the ward and how they would transform the images. I then recreated their visions on their behalf.
As the residency drew to an end I was keen to make something that allowed the conversations I had with patients and staff become visible to others. After discussions with the Ward Sister and Nursing Staff we chose to format details from ten collages as a series of compliments slips for the Head and Neck Ward. These slips were disseminated throughout the hospital and beyond.
I also worked with Brenda Read-Brown, a poet based at Oncology, Cheltenham Royal Hospital to deliver shared sessions at our respective wards. As a result a selection of collages were published as part of book of poetry by Oncology patients.