A new art exhibition by artist, poet and former patient Hazel Hammond is on display at Southmead Hospital, this World Stroke Day.
Located in Gate 36, the exhibition has been coordinated by our Fresh Arts team, who work and support our staff, patients and communities to put together high-quality art displays around our hospital sites.
Hazel Hammond has been a poet and an artist for over 40 years. In 2018 she had a stroke where she was treated at Southmead Hospital and now lives with Aphasia. Aphasia is a changing condition affecting over 350,000 people in the UK impacting on their ability to speak, write and read.
The exhibition “Not the Same Poet, But Always an Artist” explores the effects of Aphasia on Hazel’s work as she rediscovers her artistic practice through drawings, film making and other artforms.
The exhibition consists of drawings, photographs and hand made hats.
Drawing and artistic expression have been vital to her recovery. This work tells Hazel’s story visually, and she hopes it will support other people living with Stroke and their families, raising awareness of the vital role that arts can play in recovery.
‘I needed to do the drawings as I couldn’t explain what was going on. I would sit down in the morning and draw how I felt. It is very frightening to not have your words, to miss out on conversations and feel disconnected. It was later in my recovery that I looked back and could see myself learning and growing as the pictures were changing. Seeing sequence in the drawings built my confidence that I would eventually be able read and write again.”
Donna Baber, Arts Programme Manager said: It’s so important that we continue to recognise the benefits of art for our patients and this exhibition is a great example. I’m delighted that we are able to highlight Hazel’s work on World Stroke Day.
Being able to work with our patients, carers and communities through exhibitions like this or via our art workshop is a real privilege to see and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
In the future, we hope to invite our local communities to view our exhibitions, but due to the pandemic, visiting restrictions are still in place and we ask people not to visit the hospital unless they have an appointment or are visiting a patient. You can still see Hazel’s artwork at the Arnolfini exhibition or online via a series of short films.