This weekend I took Message in a Bottle installation to Poetry in Aldeburgh festival, on the Suffolk coast.
I loved seeing how exhibiting the installation in a different context (a non-hospital space, by the sea) brought new meanings into the work and how it had a different feel, while still retaining its original features.
‘Message in a Bottle’ was installed in the Xray department of Royal Brompton’s Fulham Road Wing – we’ve had great feedback from visitors and RBH staff! My thanks to rb&hArts (the hospital’s arts team) and to the CF Trust who provided me with a grant via the Helen Barrett award.
‘Message in a Bottle’ will be open by appointment (please phone/email ahead) until mid-August (please say if you have CF so we can make the room extra-clean!)
The next chapter of ‘Island Collaborations’ is opening Wednesday 14th June 2017 at Royal Brompton Hospital (Fulham Road wing, XRay dept), an interactive installation called ‘Message in a Bottle’. Drawn films, new drawings and vials for visitors to add their ‘message in a bottle’. Event details here.
(NB: If you have CF, please call/email rb&hArts before visiting: 02073528121 (ext.4087) firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since the exhibition at Chelsea Town Hall and at Royal Brompton Hospital at the end of 2016, I’ve been thinking about new ways of presenting ‘Island Collaborations’ as part of an installation. In the meantime I’ve made a new video using some recording by patient Marcella last year. I asked her (via rb&hArts curator Karen Janody) to talk about how her voice changes….
The exhibition has moved from the Chelsea Old Town Hall to the coffee shop at the Royal Brompton (event info here) – the Cystic Fibrosis Trust wrote a great article about the project herewhich reminded me to put up a few of the photos of drawings made on Foulis Ward in 1987 by an artist known only as ‘B23750’ – these photos of drawings were found in the archive of my flatmate’s grandfather, Sir John Batten, after his death. Sir John Batten founded the first adult CF unit at the Brompton in 1965.
The history and architecture of Foulis Ward has been a big part of the project, and little notes like “Violet’s going home today!” and “Take off to the moon with Becotide, atrovent, ventolin and saline” and drawings juxtaposing medical paraphernalia with flowers are a great insight into the shared history of Foulis Ward. Coming across this archive material by accident was amazing.
I’m happy to say that ‘Island Collaborations’ is being exhibited in the real world for the first time next month – beginning with a week at Chelsea Old Town Hall (outside the library) 26 September – 2 October 2016. <event details here>
The excellent MK Palomar interviewed me before writing some text for the exhibition and she got me thinking again about the ‘island’ part of the project title and this map started to come together on the paper – the Foulis Ward archipelago made up of participants with the seas between named after some of the most infectious bacteria carried by some CF patients.