Reassembled… has gone through a lengthy development process; from April– December 2014, over 75 people from the medical, arts and community/voluntary sectors heard sections and and provided their feedback in small focus groups, mostly at the MAC (Belfast).
Some of the most recent participants work for Stroke Association (NI), Royal Victoria Hospital, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Accidental Theatre, and the MAC. I also had the unique experience of testing a section at the British Association of Neurological Nurses Conference in Manchester (Oct 2014), with Colin Williamson, Head Injury Nurse at the Belfast Trust, who is one of the biomedical advisors on the project, and was present throughout my time as an in-patient in Ward 4F.
Testing ‘Reassembled, Slightly Askew’ at the British Association of Neurological Nurses Conference with chairs, not beds
One participant opted for the carpeted floor
“Time flies in.”
“Helps you to empathise with the patient experience.”
“The staff [in the hospital] were extremely attentive and caring in meeting Shannon’s needs. it was insight to be part of Shannon’s journey.”
“I want to bring the whole team in and say, ‘You think you know what it’s like but your don’t.”
“A great teaching tool for families.”
“I found the experience to be extremely insightful…the sounds were amazing, very realistic. I did feel that I was inside Shannon’s head, trying to make sense of the world going on around me. Great piece of work–thank you.”
“Will make me think about the environment and noises, how I speak and communicate with patients.”
“A real eye-opener.”
“We do it day in and day out, but do we explain enough?…would alter what you tell someone…”
“You can never know what it’s like…you feel like you’ve got a tiny bit of understanding…”
“Found the continuous noises bombarding–very different from what you experience as a staff member”
The artistic team meets (L to R): Paul Stapleton (sonic artist), Stevie Prickett (choreographer), Hanna Slattne (dramaturg), Matilde Meireles (sonic project support), Anna Newell (director)
With production of the immersive sonic artwork nearly finished, the focus is now on securing Reassembled… into galleries/theatre spaces for the general public and training settings for biomedical professionals to experience the finished piece throughout 2015.
This development has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award and an Arts & Disability Award Ireland.