Person as Patient


I finally responded to my friends e-mail and went to her exhibition this weekend.

I was pleasantly surprised!


The remit of the exhibition?

Person As Patient explores the process of depersonalisation in medicine. Biomedical artifacts such as notes, scans and surgeons’ theatre drawings are superimposed onto patients’ portraits, forcing a critical reflection on the patient’s and surgeon’s vision of each other. This exhibition is the result of a collaborative project at Whipps Cross University Hospital between Emma Barnard Artist in Residence and Michael Papesch Consultant Surgeon.

The Patient as Paper project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

I am a doctor but not a surgeon and I think I relate to my patients, their parents and families in quite a different way. It was interesting to view the doctor-patient relationship from a different perspective.

I also actually loved the concept of using embroidery on photographs. It’s not something I have seen before and just gave the pictures a more interesting dimension than say, just painting on the picture.

Did I have a favourite picture ? Yes?


This picture brought two memories to my head

The first, a reminder of my days as a paediatric registrar working in the hospital. Sometimes the first thing I would see of my patient was three volumes of notes. While sitting in a busy clinic or starting a hectic ward round my first thought would be “how am I going to get through this, where do I start” . Lucky for us – we are trained to be logical and methodical. Even better, the parents usually know exactly what we need to know and what they want for that particular consultation.

The other memory? I was reminded of an exhibition I went to at the Whitechapel gallery in 2010. The artist ? John Stezaker I loved pretty much every picture in the exhibition.

All in all, a nice exhibition and a pleasant way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The best thing of all?

The privilege of sitting with the artist herself and catching up on old and current times with a cup of tea!

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