Last month, Ashleigh Steward, her mum Sharon, Sharon’s friends Debbie and Linda and their daughters Emily and Jessica conquered Ben Nevis to raise over £3,500 for The National Hospital.
Let’s hear more about their story from Ashleigh…
In February 2012 my mum Sharon suffered a totally unexpected subarachnoid brain haemorrhage. She was rushed to hospital and then transferred to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery where she stayed for three weeks. They performed two emergency operations and looked after her until she was well enough to go home.
Award-winning artist Mark Ware has created images responding to Exeter Cathedral’s 900 year history and reflecting his altered perception of the world brought about by a stroke in 1996 at the age of 39.
Exeter Cathedral has been the setting and subject for Cathedra 900, Mark’s latest multimedia project funded by Arts Council England. For the past eighteen months Mark has explored the cathedral and interpreted its art and architecture through photography, abstract photomontages, 3D artwork and sound.
“Stroke affects everything I do and how I perceive the world. It influences all my art and it keeps me in the ‘here and now’ because of the physical and mental challenges it presents me with. In addition it has given me a wonderful insight into how the senses work, which in turn inspires the art that I now create.
“My Exeter Cathedral images and abstract photomontages were created in response to the building, particularly to its extraordinary medieval architecture and design, and I hope that they offer a meaningful experience to those who see the work. Cathedra 900 has been a profoundly rewarding project. I’m privileged and honoured to be participating in Exeter Cathedral’s 900 year timeline, contributing to the centuries of artistic activity within its walls.”
During October 2013, as part of Cathedra 900, Mark staged three performances of 900 Years of Light, and event which featured film, readings, music, and the premiere of Mark’s video composition accompanied by specially arranged music performed by internationally acclaimed trumpeter, Crispian Steele-Perkins with Lyric Strings trio.
The video composition brought together Mark’s photography showing details, patterns and architectural shapes, creating illusions of stillness and movement. During the screening of the work, the cathedral appeared to breathe as its vaulted ceiling was cast with slowly changing light, and the live music resonated throughout the building. 3D images on fabric banners hanging on the Cathedral’s columns added an extra dimension to the Cathedral’s architecture when viewed through coloured glasses.
The next phase of Mark’s work includes an exhibition at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Exeter early in 2014 through Exeter Healthcare Arts. As a taster for Mark’s exhibition, three of his images will be shown as part of a larger exhibition including work by other artists which will be on show from 25 until 25 February 2014.
Mark has been involved with supporting The National Brain Appeal and a number of other charities since having a stroke and his images are now being offered for sale, benefiting charities in the process.
“My family and I have benefited from the work of a number of charities and I wanted to give something back. My art seemed an ideal way to do this, so my work will be sold through a number of charities (including The National Brain Appeal) which will receive 30% of the profits.”
It’s been almost a year since we were at the Queen Square Library in the archives, learning more about the history of The National Hospital. We thought it was time to pay them a visit again – but this time, we did it online…
The Queen Square Library contains an important collection of specialist neurology, neurosurgery and neuroscience books and journals, and a Rare Book Collection which extends to some 3000 volumes from 1695 onwards.
The library also houses the Queen Square Archive which comprise the archives belonging to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) and those of UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN). Every month, the Librarian Sarah Lawson selects a piece for Item of the Month on their website.
This month features a lecture on disseminated sclerosis which was delivered by William Richard Gowers at the National Hospital on the 13th June 1895 – 118 years ago.
Sarah Lawson told us why she chose this particular piece: “I recently received an enquiry about translating one of Gowers’ publications, Epilepsy and other Chronic Convulsive Diseases into Russian. That publication dated from 1881 which prompted me to select the Gowers lecture as Item of the Month, demonstrating how much worldwide interest there continues to be in Gowers’ writings, almost hundred years after his death.” The piece bears corrections on the manuscript which fits with Sarah comments that Gowers lectures were always very polished and published fairly soon after delivery as they were so comprehensive.
Gowers produced over 350 publications between 1872 and 1910 as well as major textbooks such as Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System, which was the standard reference until early in the twentieth-century.
It’s fascinating to see these documents from the past, a reminder of The National’s legacy of groundbreaking research and education, which continues to the current day.
Images courtesy of the Queen Square Library, Archive and Museum. Copyright National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (UCLH)/UCL Institute of Neurology
There’s always something different going on in TNBA office – but one thing you can be sure of is that every Wednesday, we have a visit from our volunteer, Naomi.
After two and a half years of suffering a mystery illness, Naomi was finally referred to The National where she was diagnosed as having autoimmune disease and received treatment. Seeing her Mum come back to life, Naomi’s daughter Tasha volunteered with us and when she went travelling, Naomi came to take her place. So every week she comes and helps out in the office; today she was filling envelopes with our latest newsletter to send out and is also helping to organise donations of art for an auction. Read more
Inspired by the treatment and care his father-in-law received at The National, Matt Line braved snow and extreme weather to take part in the South Wales Three Peaks Challenge. He’s since thawed out his fingers and written a piece sharing his experience.
My name is Matt Line and I’m a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Gloucester Royal Hospital. My wife, Grace and I have a beautiful five month old daughter called Rose and we live in a small town called Monmouth, located just over the Welsh border between the Wye valley and the Black mountains. Read more