Friday, 26 August 2016

. . . B I R T H

Normal blogging has almost resumed but for now here are a few opportunities, some light music, an episode of Betty Boop and some delicious bits and bats. Enjoy your day...

Bodies, Technologies, Objects: A Medical Humanities Laboratory Workshop
Tuesday September 6th at The Whitworth, Manchester
Hand sanitizer dispensers, medicine bottles, surgical knives, bionic eyes: from the mundane and simple to the rarified and high-tech, objects mediate and condition our encounters with medicine, health and illness.  How, this workshop asks, can those working in medical humanities engage productively with objects to gain insights into medical care and health experience?  What can objects show or tell us that texts do not? This workshop brings together scholars, artists, and museum professionals to address these questions.  In three themed sessions combining presentation and discussion, we intend to explore the analytical, creative, and pedagogical possibilities that a focus on objects offers us.

This University of Manchester network encourages collaboration and exchange amongst those whose work, practice, and interests involve the artistic, humanistic, and human dimensions of medicine and health. For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Marion Endt-Jones at or Elizabeth Toon at

Register at 

Funding for projects that address urban & rural deprivation 

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation has announced that funding is available to support the work of local and national charities or not-for-profit organisations that address rural and urban deprivation within the UK. Within these two main headings, the Trust are interested in helping established projects which work in the fields of:
Community Support
Arts, Education & Heritage
Disability & Health Care
Want to know more? Click on the link:

Government Launches £80 Million Life Chances Fund 

The Cabinet Office has launched an £80 million Life Chances Fund. The Fund will support local public sector organisations that wish to commission social impact bonds (SIBs) and other payment-by-results contracts to tackle complex social problems. The fund is intended to match fund local commissioners who want to launch a SIB or similar project, and will typically contribute about 20 per cent of the funding. It aims to increase the number of and scale of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) in England, as well as making it easier and quicker to set up a SIB. It also aims to increase the amount of capital available to a wider range of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector providers to enable them to compete for public sector contracts. Applications for proposals focused on children's services and tackling drug and alcohol dependency are now open, to be followed by the other themes over the next 12 months.
The Fund will run for 9 years (up until March 2025). Read more at:


Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is seeking to commission an artist or artist’s group to create work for the Critical Care Unit in their new hospital, which opened in 2015. It is the first in Europe to be built within a park and is a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital. Every year it treats more than 270,000 patients and is globally recognised for excellence in children’s healthcare. The Critical Care Unit treats almost 2000 patients each year and comprises a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric High Dependency Unit and Burns High Dependency Unit. 

The commission is to create artwork for a long connecting corridor, a shorter corridor, 2 parent overnight rooms, 2 interview rooms and a staff room. A ‘donor recognition artwork’ is to be part of the overall commission. The commissioners are looking for an outstanding artist or artist’s group, with a proven track record of high quality commissions, to design, create and install work which is welcoming and sensitive to the emotions which critical illness engenders. The work needs to be two-dimensional and inspired by the theme of nature, in keeping with the hospital’s overall Arts Strategy. The fee for this commission is £35,000 inclusive of VAT, materials, installation costs and expenses. Shortlisted artists will be invited to attend an interview and offered a design development fee to work up their ideas in more detail.

In the first instance, we would like to receive electronically an expression of interest, up to 12 images of your work and a CV.
Please send your expressions of interest to Vicky Charnock, Arts Coordinator: Full details at: 

Job Opportunities - Junction Arts (Derbyshire)

Junction Arts are recruiting. We are seeking a new full time Project Coordinator to coordinate the development and delivery of community arts projects, activities and events as well as a new Marketing & Communications Coordinator (3 days a week). Junction Arts is a participatory arts organisation (based in Chesterfield), engaging communities across Bolsover District, North East Derbyshire and rural areas of the East Midlands for the past 40 years. We are looking for an experienced Arts Project Coordinator with participatory arts and relevant community development skills to join our team alongside an experienced Marketing & Communications Coordinator.  You will support and develop a vibrant, partnership based arts programme in a range of art forms and settings.
Project Coordinator (Full time) 
Salary: £25,000 per annum
Closing Date: 5th September at 5pm. Interviews 19th or 20th September 
Marketing & Communications Coordinator (3 days per week) 
Salary: £25,000 per annum, Pro rata 
Closing Date: 7th September at 5pm. Interviews 22nd or 23rd September
Both posts will be based at the Junction Arts office in Chesterfield. Please download and read the Job Description and Person Specification on the Junction Arts website opportunities page  and tell us in the application form how you best meet the needs of the jobs. Successful applicants for interview will be notified by the 16th September. If you have not heard from us by the 16th September you may assume that you have not been shortlisted for interview.

B!RTH an international theatre festival developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester to provoke debate on a global scale and question one of the key issues of our time, the vast inequality in healthcare across the world.You can find out more about the project by following this link: I was asked to provide some content for the project blog. This one minute film and text is my contribution.

Birth – what is it - perhaps a coming up for air, in the infinity of not existing, a pause in the eternal march of time? 

For child and mother, a blissful or traumatic moment – or the myriad other versions of birth somewhere in between – now, temporarily alongside that other parent, the three are irreversibly separate, finite rhythms too quickly beaten out. To all intents and purposes - alone. 

This being born, or moment of birth at least – is the yang to the yin of all our deaths – confrontation best avoided perhaps, by those without the delusion of eternal bliss. Or embraced as an abstract concept, until it’s at our door, reminding us through incremental failings of our physiology, or the unexpected, or self inflicted trauma that extinguishes all sentience in the blink of an eye.

Two certainties: you were born and you will die, a fortuitous novelty on a rocky outcrop, so embrace that great gulp of air and all those aggregated imaginings that give us meaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment