16 Stoddart Street

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE2 1AN

Wed-Sun, 10am - 5pm

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NHS Photography Exhibition

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We were approached during lockdown with an idea that had been developed during lockdown by a member of the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and disability services. We were delighted to support in any way we could.

Dolores O’Doherty who works as an occupational therapist, had been inspired to try to make staff and inpatients’ exercise breaks more interesting. Dolores found a lot of patients didn’t want to go out anymore and a lot of patients were getting sick of walking the same route around the hospital sites, whilst staff were spending their breaks indoors not getting any fresh air. Her idea was to organise a lockdown photography competition, giving staff and patients the chance to have their work exhibited at some of the region’s leading cultural spaces. The competition, which was open to staff and patients on inpatient wards, encouraged people to take photos within the grounds of the Trust sites across the North East and north Cumbria. 

Dolores said: “It can be very stressful on the wards at the moment so I wanted to do something that would bring teams closer together and allow them to refocus their attention on something positive and creative. I wanted to make people’s break times more purposeful, giving people a reason to go outside.”

Each ward hosted their own competition internally, with the winning photo from each ward featuring in this 30 strong photographic exhibition. 

“I wanted people to use their imagination and look at their surroundings in a different way,” Dolores added. “For example, taking a picture of something on a cloudy day and comparing the same thing in bright sunshine.

“We’re all in this together and need to support each other during this time in whatever way we can. The opportunity to have work displayed at The Biscuit Factory is really special as well.”

Rachel Brown, General Manager at The Biscuit Factory, said: “We were thrilled when we were approached to be part of the competition and wanted to support in any way possible. The photographic exhibition will provide a very particular and personal viewpoint of what has been an unprecedented collective experience.

“Through the lens of both care provider and patient, we will receive an insight into a hugely private and nuanced experience with shots from moments during lockdown. I expect the exhibition will resonate with everyone who sees it. It’s a privilege for me to be a judge on images that may help us understand that we are as fundamentally united as we are fantastically individual.”

The exhibition will run at The Biscuit Factory from 5-20 September.