Fay Ballard – Wednesday 28th June 2017 – Auchi Dialysis Unit, Hammersmith Hospital

Artist Fay Ballard is leading a weekly creative workshop with dialysis patients at Hammersmith Hospital. She is writing a weekly blog in response to her experiences.

‘Every life must have quality’, Irving said as we discussed the state of the nation, his childhood upbringing in the East End, and the birth of the Welfare State. This was a profound and philosophical conversation, one that really makes you think. Perhaps he’d like to make another text based artwork?

Cheryl was lying in the adjacent bed and I introduced myself and asked if she’d like to talk. Pulling up a chair, we began a conversation about our lives, our careers, our families, homes and pets. Cheryl had enjoyed art at school but always found the human figure difficult to draw despite persisting. She had loved sewing clothes for herself, and had enjoyed cooking. Her life had been transformed by illness. Yes, she’d like to make art and we agreed to start thinking about what we might do together. My initial thoughts turned to textiles and pattern, to bold decorative designs, and we laughed at the thought of tackling life drawing exercises. After a couple of hours, Olive walked slowly past with a hospital porter on her way home and we greeted each other with, ‘Hello goodbye!’ On arrival, I had run upstairs to see Chantelle but she was too tired to make art and needed to sleep. Michael was absent, attending another hospital for his cataract operation and back next week with two good eyes.

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