2011 ‘Beyond the Evidence Base: From Anaesthetic to Aesthetic in Medicine’. (Images, participatory acts, discussion) ‘I walked through corridors…I wondered and I wandered. The more intensely I observed, the more I became absorbed by the deadness, the emptiness, the sense of alienation, of mortification. Disorientated, I feared the slippage, the ‘suction of infinity’. Vertiginous and toxic in its pull, was this a space to be horizontal or stay vertical? Which way would one be pulled? What is it like to come in here, to loose one’s grip on the earth? The coolness of the white chair. The door – into a room of blue sky’ ‘I wouldn’t demand a lot of my doctor’s time: I just wish he would brood on my situation for perhaps 5 minutes, that he would give me his whole mind just once, be bonded with me for a brief space, survey my soul as well as my flesh, to get at my illness, for each man is ill in his own way.’ (Broyard 1992) ‘Since technology deprives me of the intimacy that is my illness, makes it not mine but something that belongs to science, I wish my doctor could somehow re-personalize it for me..the connotation of going beyond the science into the person is all I’m asking.’ (Broyard 1992)
‘One can become locked in one’s own illness – institutionalised, detached by it, not reaching out. The healthcare worker needs to reach in to the human being. In my day, we were always taught that the person comes first’ (Retired Sister, Cardiology) ”
2012 – Current: This work continues with research in an arts-led PhD at Oxford Brookes University, Social Sculpture Research Unit “What IS this territory I’m working in? – ‘Aesthetics’ in healthcare?
An instance of what I mean could be found in, say, the small yet transformative action of a nurse who takes time to make, sit down and drink hot chocolate at bed-time with her patient. It’s much more than just the stirring of ingredients in the cup but alchemical nourishment, sensed magic for the soul – memories wishes, dreams are shared which could possibly even then be asked for….” Reflective Journal (2013 HF)
2014 – Current “Bathe” – An new aesthetic participatory work – which draws our attention to how we sense the human encounter.
This is one component in a series of innovative processes for re-viewing aspects of healthcare. These are being designed as reflective spaces for use by healthcare workers.
2016 – Onwards: Recruiting now for healthcare workers & students to try these out!