I’ve recently submitted a piece of work for an exhibition entitled ‘The Art of Caring’, organised by the art collective, ‘Collect Connect’. Now in its 3rd year, ‘The Art of Caring’ comprises two exhibitions - the first at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting from 3rd-12th May, where printed postcards of submitted artworks are to be displayed to help celebrate International Nurses’ Day; the second at St. Pancras hospital, which will be curated separately and combine original artworks with printed postcards.
The exhibitions were established to celebrate nurses, carers and the NHS and to show support for those in the caring professions. The organisers invited submissions that responded personally to this theme (whether it be as a carer or a patient).
My primary reason for wishing to be involved with this particular project was due to the wonderful work and support that the NHS and various care professionals have done for my father, who has lived with Parkinson’s Disease since 2007.
For the artwork I submitted however, I chose a response to my own experience of living with a condition called AF (Atrial Fibrilation); a heart condition that causes an arrhythmic and abnormally fast heartbeat. Having suffered five isolated cases of AF throughout my adult life, I have been reliant on the NHS for the condition’s diagnosis and treatment.
It may have been my own doctor who likened the heart’s behaviour in AF to that of a bag full of snakes but having had first-hand experience, this particularly unpleasant analogy is actually fairly true to the sensation experienced and also now impossible not to visualize on the (thankfully) rare occasions that I have suffered from the condition.
The image that I finally submitted began life, once again, from an original ink drawing. Further to it being printed for the ‘Art of Caring’ exhibition, I intend to develop the image into a larger 3 colour print.
'The Art of Caring' exhibition opens on 3rd May 2017 alongside SNAP (Student Nurse Academic Partnership Conference) and finishes on International Nurses Day (12th May). The second exhibition is at St. Pancras Hospital (July-October).