In the time since the last post here I have been working hard in the studio building a body of work for the project’s exhibition in Swansea in June this year as part of the International Storytelling for Health conference
The work has been emotionally and intellectually challenging, while at the same time being so very rewarding. The experience of spending time with patients and staff on the oncology ward at Singleton Hospital in Swansea, and of reading around the subject of cancer and its treatment as a whole, has raised many thoughts and questions in my mind. I intend to tackle some of these here though separate posts and I am hoping the art work I am creating will come some way to addressing them, at the same time as generating more in order to continue a positive and practical dialogue.
In the meanwhile, a conversation I had with a patient on the ward resonates throughout my studio and my mind as I work, and, spoken as it was more with a quiet resignation than with pain, it is far from being a negative force…it only drives me forward:
P. I’d be really interested in any follow up of what you are doing here.
Me. Of course. There will be an exhibition of artwork here in Swansea next year.
Me. In June
P. I’ll be dead by then
Another comment from another patient is as powerful an indication of a sense of mortality:
You’ve just got to accept it haven’t you? I’m sixty-five. I can’t have a quality of life. I don’t want them all sitting around waiting for me to die.