Staff portrait exhibition – ‘In Whom We Trust’

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A special exhibition featuring striking black and white portraits and the ‘voices of staff’ at North Bristol NHS Trust will be unveiled at Frenchay Hospital on Thursday, January 20.

The project, In Whom We Trust, creates a permanent record of staff at Southmead and Frenchay hospitals in 2011 as the organisation prepares for the biggest change in its lifetime – the move to the new super hospital at Southmead in 2014.

Fresh Arts, North Bristol NHS Trust’s ongoing arts programme, commissioned photographer James Dwyer and oral historian and sound artist, Mary Ingoldby, to photograph and interview a wide range of staff as they went about their daily duties.

Ruth Sidgwick, Arts Programme Manager, said: “In Whom We Trust marks an important moment in the life of the Trust, as it faces all the challenges that the transition to a new hospital in 2014 will bring, as well as the changes happening to the NHS, its staff and service delivery across the country.

“The combination of visual image (portraits showing work situations and roles) with ‘soundscape’ (recorded personal reflections) provides an absorbing insight into how each staff member, whatever their level, is an essential and individual cog in this vast health care machine.

“And it is the human heart of this machine which is conveyed so strongly.  All staff members across the spectrum are involved at an emotional level. The demanding nature of caring work – witness the prediction “I will cry at work today” – is seen as a privileged and humbling aspect of the job.

“We are presented with touching evidence that our health service is founded on the compassion, commitment and skills of the carers who work in it. We can feel, thanks to this exhibition, reassured and grateful to those in whom we trust.”

The exhibition will be open to the public and can be found in the main, front ramp corridor at Frenchay Hospital. It will be moved to Southmead Hospital later this year.

Fresh Arts is the ongoing arts programme managed by North Bristol NHS Trust, at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals. Fresh Arts improves patient wellbeing and the working lives of staff at the hospitals by enhancing the patient experience, improving morale, providing opportunities for positive involvement and establishing the Trust at the heart of the community.