At Your Service #8 - Final Thank You
So there .... a year and a half of interviewing, researching, discussing, designing, painting, worrying, installing ...... followed by 6 weeks, 24 days, 4 talks, 2 radio interviews and 3 written texts for the At Your Service exhibition. The latest article appeared on the Corridor 8 website, written by Lucy Holt. She's done a fantastic job articulating my intentions alongside presenting her own impressions of the work on show.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to make this possible:
All the European employees from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals who allowed me access to their views, stories, concerns, reflections and hopes for our future. Roxana, Anna & Maciew, Victor, Bogdana, Yerusalem, Lucia, Jose, Claire, Gabor and Natascha. You were the best!
Running buddy John Rawlinson who ran with me all the way, patiently listening, advising, guiding, debating, reading and sharing his learning. He also wrote the text on the 5 Giants for me. I don't know how many miles we covered but we did some long distances, including one 30 mile run through the Peak District in glorious sunshine when the world looked just perfectly fine.
Heather Ditch and Lucy Holt for engaging with the work and writing so thoughtfully about it. So much appreciated!
Helena Dolby for taking some great photographs of the exhibition and me (not easy)!
Everyone at Yorkshire Artspace and in particular Jane and Rachael. Calm, open, patient, supportive and always helpful. Two great women!
The team behind Making Ways (especially Janet) and Sheffield Culture Consortium who supported this with funds from Arts Council England.
Also not forgetting my partner Pete and daughter Saskia - especially for their patience, for letting me off the housework and cooking duties, for understanding me.
Finally a big thank you to all the people who came to see it or followed these blog posts, saw stuff on line and gave me such nice, thoughtful, surprising, uplifting feedback. I have had many discussions with people who engaged with this work and who told me their views on Brexit, their concerns and love for the NHS.
I wanted this work to feel like a tribute to European workers at our NHS during a time where negotiations with the EU over a Brexit deal seem to be primarily focused on the best trade agreements to keep the UK economically stable after 29th March 2019.
Not enough conversations have taken place about our hopes for a society that has been divided, polarised, angered. Not enough conversations have centred around 'who cares' for people when they are most in need and no amount of money can make it better. We have long lives (most of us) and short attention spans. This big decision has been made too quickly without plans, debates, facts, possibilities, consequences. The world will not end - I am sure of this - but how it will change and affect us remains to be seen. I keep hoping that my fears will be unfounded and that it will all be fine ....