In November 2014 I was approached by the Arts Department at York Hospital. The radiology department was due to undergo a comprehensive refurbishment and they needed new art to line the walls. I had already been making X-ray box photography as part of my own art practice.
The radiology department at York sees 200,00 patients a year. That's 200,000 people waiting for scans and X-rays that will influence the course of their treatment. There was a clear need for art as intervention, an opportunity to reflect the greater human experience taking place within an otherwise impersonal and clinical environment. The Arts Council agreed with my proposal and provided extra funding for the project.
I visited York over several months, spending time in the department with the staff before going out with them around Yorkshire to capture them outside of work. It was crucial to earn their trust and communicate the nature of the project to them as clearly as possible. The majority of staff had little prior exposure to photography and had busy jobs. My role was to get a sense of the person beyond the professional label and document that. It was a very involved process and one which I enjoyed.
20 images were installed on lightboxes in July 2016. The work is now open to the public for viewing.
Many thanks to Arts Council England, to Gill Greaves, Jess Sharp and Kat Wood, Becci Lord, Pete and Neepa Atkinson and David Amanor-Wilks. Also a big thankyou to the staff at York Hospital who took the time to participate and for being so accomodating.