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Above the Parapet - inspired by conversations with NHS nurses on strike days at the picket line

By  Helen Snell 2023
Helen Snell joined Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in June 2022 as artist in residence, funded by NHS Charities Together, to work specifically with staff in the aftermath of the pandemic. Helen has shadowed staff across many hospital departments and community healthcare settings. The resulting conversations and interactions have shaped the evolving narratives in these drawings. Staff have talked candidly about their experiences of working in the NHS and have shared personal stories describing their life beyond work. These co-created drawings document these interactions and highlight the challenges and rewards of working in the NHS at this uniquely challenging moment. They allow for more personal stories and truths to emerge and be validated. Helen has particularly focused on the work environments of staff in non-public and ‘backstage’ areas. Helen uses a range of media to document these conversations and to ask wider questions. These works will form the basis of more involved and larger scale works to be presented at the end of her residency in July 2024. Helen recently completed a two-year residency with the University of Exeter on a national research project, as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response initiative to COVID-19
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