All my artmaking has gone on hold today in order to catch up with the lovely people over at the Traumatic Brain Injury Service. We had afternoon tea at Ty Blodau in Singleton Park’s Botanical Gardens to chat about all the photography projects we’ve been working together on.
Two groups of patients from Morriston Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Service took part in last year’s Bringing Gower Home project. This was a series of one day workshops where participants could experience the Gower through photography. Meanwhile another group worked on another workshop I designed and facilitated over at at Dylan Thomas Centre. Here they took ten weeks to tell their stories of injury, recovery, and living on beyond brain injury. There is an exhibition currently showing at Swansea’s Grand Theatre showcasing the best work from Brain Injury: The Hidden Disability. This exhibition runs until the end of tomorrow so it’s well worth a look. I’ve had people* coming up to me in the street telling me how impressed they were at the standard of the photography on display. For more information click HERE.
This afternoon was all about catching up with how patients have moved on since their workshops. This is one demographic I love working with and I can see how much participants have benefited from seeing their world differently through the camera lens. Some research has been done on how photography can benefit people who’ve experienced brain trauma but this is still a new field of exploration. Starting with a photograph can often speak a thousand words to the viewer and bridge any communications gap that might exist. Words don’t always fit in the right order and self-expression can be difficult with a brain injury. The photograph can trigger the words in the right order for the photographer to speak about the story they wish to tell.
The potential here is enormous and goes far deeper than simple occupational therapy and is a valuable tool towards mindfulness and recovery. Psychoanalysts are just touching the tip of the iceberg with the benefits of photography for brain injury patients. Today was a great way to celebrate the pioneering work of the Traumatic Brain Injury Service here in Swansea.
I am organising, delivering, and supporting this project in collaboration with Gower Landscape Partnership (GLP) which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural Resources Wales, City and County of Swansea, and National Trust.
*respected local artists and masters degree graduates