Holes in the Soul - an exhibition of poetry and artwork

Friday, 21 September 2012

An immensely personal exhibition of poetry and artwork created by a patient who was treated for burns injuries at Frenchay in the late 1970s will go on display at the hospital from this Monday, September 24.

Rachel Hartland from Taunton was badly burned in a car accident on her way to work at a local newspaper in 1978.

She was treated at Frenchay Hospital which was, and still is, recognised as a regional centre for the treatment of burns injuries.

Rachel’s life was saved by a team of dedicated surgeons and nurses and after her recovery she went on to train as a nurse feeling it was important to give something back for the high quality care she had received.

She worked as a staff nurse in Taunton and Pembrokeshire and gained a diploma in cosmetic camouflage for scars.

Rachel said: “I have always used poetry and art as a way in which to document and explore my feelings.

“The poems and artwork in this exhibition explore a wide range of themes relating to my experiences particularly around changes in body image, identity and trauma.”

Ruth Sidgwick, Arts Programme Manager for North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to showcase Rachel’s poetry and artwork here at Frenchay Hospital. They will be on display in the hospital’s main corridor - just up from the North Entrance.

“For many years Frenchay has been associated with treating burns and patients have come to the hospital from across the South West.

“This legacy will continue when we move the adult burns service to the new hospital at Southmead and the paediatric burns services transfers to the Bristol Children’s Hospital in 2014.

“We really hope that Rachel’s words and images will be a rich source of inspiration and hope for other trauma patients.”

The poetry and artwork also feature in a new book which is now on sale - the profits from which will be donated to the adult burns unit at Frenchay Hospital. To reserve a copy please email hartlandart@googlemail.com - for more information about Rachel and her artwork and poetry, log onto www.hartlandart.co.uk

Rachel can also be contacted to arrange poetry readings for any groups that are interested and all the artwork in the book is also for sale.