Health and Creativity

This very special FUTURES exhibition showcases what local people have produced with artists and researchers in creative workshops around the topic of health.

Letter to My Kidneys: Could you imagine having kidney disease? Most of us don’t give a second thought to our internal hidden organs. What if someone asks you to write a letter to your kidneys? What would you say? Clinician/ Researcher Barny Hole and Writer/ Arts-health facilitator Elspeth Penny have been working with people with experience of kidney disease to do exactly this. Older people, younger people, donors, patients on dialysis and a clinician. Using the old-fashioned communication methods of phone calls and letter writing in a world where zoom currently rules, we asked for a simple letter to start with, then as participants got used to the idea, we sent them art packs to help them create a series of Letters to my Kidney/s. We find the results touching and illuminating, and hope you do too.

Designing the Decameron for 2020

Designing the Decameron for 2020 is a collaboration between Rhiannon Daniels (University of Bristol) and Barbara Disney (CreativeShift). Boccaccio’s Decameron is set in Florence in 1348: the plague has changed the life of the city beyond recognition and 10 young Florentines decide to form their own ‘household bubble’ and self-isolate in the countryside. While they are there, they take their mind off the plague by telling each other short stories. A century later, when printing with moveable type was invented in Europe, the Decameron became one of Italy’s bestselling works of fiction. Each time it was reprinted, the text of the Decameron stayed more or less the same, but the design of each edition evolved as it was marketed to new readers by printers and editors. In 2020, a group of artists and printmakers made their own responses to the Decameron.