Back in June, Charley Barnes extended an invitation to be one of the poets for this project with the Medical Museum. I jumped at the chance as I enjoy writing ekphrastic poetry and working with archived photographs would be a pleasure.
The whole project happened over the space of just three weeks. The Medical Talk was for any interested parties and open to the public. It was attended by retired employees, medical staff, students and even some former patients. The conversations and interactions we had in the evening were wonderfully insightful and interesting. As was the information gained by the two main lectures.
Louise Price, Curator at the George Marshall Medical Museum, was the driving force behind the injection (excuse the pun), of creativity in this programme and I think it broke up the lectures well.
Charles Hastings Education Centre
The project gave us time to spend with archived footage not available to the general public and consider the stories it connected for us. I spent time choosing my photos. Then I had to cull the selection back further as we had 8-10 minutes to produce and the number of photos I had selected would need at least twice that performance time!
The other poets were Mike Alma, Charley Barnes and Polly Stretton. We all did some research into the hospitals and people/situations depicted in our chosen photographs. We had a meeting with Louise Price before the event where we all talked about the images we had chosen and listened to her knowledge of the archived material. On the night we performed with the images projected behind us.
I spent time composing and editing a series of poems from 7 photos. Several of which pleased me.
On the evening we had a chance to look around the Medical Museum displays. Some grizzly, some fascinating. I popped in alone initially and was glad of the company of Polly & Mike the second time. I am terribly squeamish!
The Museum is open Monday to Friday 9-5pm and is free to enter
Louise is hoping to display a selection of our poems from this event soon.
There are some summer holiday family activities available, starting with this one.