Photographer in Residence at Sheffield Children’s Hospital 1996
These portraits were taken as part of a 6 month photographic residency at Sheffield Children’s Hospital during 1996, from which a small selection are reproduced here. The photographs formed part of a publicity campaign called the ‘Children’s Appeal’, which aimed to raise awareness to the work of the hospital and in turn generate funds for the hospital’s charity the ‘Chris Fund’.
An enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check was required before I started the residency.
The residency was instigated by Richard Jarman executive director of the Children’s Appeal. Many thanks for his direction, support and enthusiasm during the residency.
My other duties during the residency included supplying all photography for the hospitals PR department, provide images to illustrate brochures and leaflets for the various medical and technical departments plus numerous department staff portraits. I also photographed staff retirement parties and even an image for the hospital’s Christmas card, I was also on call for any other requests at any time.
A condition of the residency was that it was essential to obtain written permission from the parent or guardian of the child that I wished to photograph before the photograph was taken. However some parents wanted their child to be photographed and included in the exhibition but not named in the caption. Additionally the use of flash photography was not to be used as seizures can be triggered by children who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.
The resulting photographs were exhibited at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and later at The Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield between 10.12.96 – 01.02.97.
The following poem was kindly written by Barnsley poet Ian Macmillan after seeing a number of the photographs. The poem later appeared on the poster which promoted the exhibition.
You stare at us, and we gaze back
and it’s as though
you are looking into a mirror
we can tell you things
and like a mirror
we tell the truth
Many thanks to the courageous children, parents and staff who shared these intimate, sensitive and private moments with me in the midst of a busy hospital.