We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES

Transplant - presentation at Association for Medical Humanities conference

Wynne, John and Wainwright, Tim and Hume, Victoria (2011) Transplant - presentation at Association for Medical Humanities conference. In: Association for Medical Humanities 8th Annual Conference, 11th - 13th July 2011, Leicester. [Creative Arts and Design > Sound Arts & Design
Creative Arts and Design > Photography] (Unpublished)
Creators:Wynne, John and Wainwright, Tim and Hume, Victoria

Conference theme: The Drama of Medicine – ‘All the Ward’s a Stage’

"In various ways, heart and lung transplants blur the easy distinctions between life and death, between being alive and not. The transplantation unit at Harefield is a place where all these issues cross, where dying and living have different and more elastic meanings than in the world outside."
Charles Darwent, art critic for The Independent

In a cardiothoracic transplant unit, tragedy is not hard to find. But behind and alongside the tragic narratives are experiences rich in humour, human strength and weakness, drama and boredom, trauma and transformation. Photographer Tim Wainwright and sound artist John Wynne spent a year as artists-in-residence at Harefield Hospital, one of the world’s leading centres for heart and lung transplantation. Working closely with Victoria Hume, manager of Royal Brompton and Harefield Arts, they photographed and recorded patients, the devices they were attached to or had implanted in them, and the hospital environment. They produced a 24-channel gallery installation, a book with essays, interviews and a video by the artists, an award-winning ‘composed documentary’ for BBC Radio 3, a surround-sound video installation and an online audiovisual diary.

The physical, emotional and intellectual experiences of patients are central to this project: the artists sought to minimize voyeurism and avoid exploitation by allowing those experiences to determine the shape and direction of the work. The artists will discuss the themes and issues raised by Transplant and show some of their work, including the Transplant video, which moves back and forth between documentary and abstraction, pathos and humour, and ITU, a surround-sound video shot entirely through curtains in the Intensive Treatment Unit. Curtains are a feature of both theatre and hospital, but hospital curtains do not signal the cessation of activity and do nothing to attenuate the sound; indeed they are usually drawn when the ‘action’ becomes most intense, heightening auditory sensitivity and arousing the imagination.

Victoria Hume will discuss the 'stage management' of a project like Transplant: providing the interface between the arts and medicine in a hospital setting. She will look at this both from a pragmatic perspective, examining how hospital managers can be persuaded of the value of allowing artists to document and interpret the experience of its patients, and from a more philosophical one, exploring the limits on both sides, how to deal with an inevitable degree of voyeurism and how the differing languages of healthcare and the arts can meet. She will also touch on the longer-term issues around a complex project for the hospital and its patients, and the challenge of embedding the results into hospital culture.

"Both dignified and brutal, Transplant evokes the melancholy and trauma that underpin this uncanny transaction."
Ed Baxter, The Guardian

Type of Research:Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > London College of Communication
Research Centres/Networks > Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP)
Date:11 July 2011
Copyright Holders:John Wynne and Tim Wainwright
Event Location:Leicester
Projects or Series:Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011), Transplant
ID Code:3683
Deposited By:Dr John Wynne
Deposited On:02 Nov 2011 15:27
Last Modified:28 Jun 2013 12:03
Repository Staff Only: item control page