‘Our Working Lives’ at the Street Gallery. Review by William Marshall.
Turn right inside the main entrance to University College Hospital on Euston Road, and you’ll find The Street Gallery, currently showing a collection of inket prints by Photographer-in-Residence Graeme Weston, and curated by Arts Administrator Guy Noble.
The images, all of individuals at work in the hospital, include the expected nurses, midwives, doctors and surgeons, but also others with less well obvious (but still essential) clinical roles as well as receptionists, security officials and the many other people that are critical to the smooth functioning of a major London teaching hospital. The medium of reproduction, inkjet rather than emulsion photography, gives the images a slightly soft appearance that seems entirely appropriate for images of people whose work demands so much empathy. For me, they emphasise the universal aspects of working in health care: dedication, love, commitment and an ethos of caring. Each image is accompanied by a few biographical notes, often with input from the individuals portrayed. Two things stand out. First, the enthusiasm with which people speak of their roles; whether in a clinical or a support role, all appear to love their jobs and to feel valued. And second, the huge range of ethnicities represented, illustrating the essential role and huge benefits of immigration in supporting the NHS.
The exhibition is open daily until September 7th
William Marshall © 2016.