Brain injury stories told through photography, paintings and print

The walls of Norwich’s Colman Hospital have been brightened up with art by people recovering from head injury.

The two permanent displays are at the hospital’s Caroline House (specialist neurological rehabilitation inpatients service) and Jubilee House (specialist neurological rehabilitation outreach service). While the Caroline House display features photography, Jubilee House is displaying paintings and print. The displays showcase work from people who have been treated at the hospital or are clients of brain injury charity Headway. As reported in the Eastern Daily Press, Venu Harilal, interim medical director, said of the Caroline House display: “It was a real pleasure to see the photographs and hear more about the inspiration behind them. “Dealing with consequences of brain injuries is challenging so it is inspiring to see how people can channel their experience into such a positive and creative way.” The Patient Environment Group at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC) collaborated with Headway Norfolk and Waveney on the project. This involved working with people recovering from brain injuries to encourage them to photograph and share places and sights across Norfolk. The aim was to prompt memories for the inpatients and their carers, and brighten the work environment for the staff and visitors. The project was a great success and illustrated the skills and positive experience of those who have had a brain injury or a stroke; being able to tell a story through composition, lighting and subject matter. Comments from contributors include: “I lost the ability to read after a brain injury in 1956 and spent most of my childhood just looking at the pictures in books. This, I think, gave me a natural flair for picture making.” Another contributor said: “Photography has been the most effective and least demanding therapy. An outlet for the inner emotions that have no voice.”
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