Storying Sheffield

Exhibition encourages understanding of long term illness

MICROSTORIES poster final_sm

This exhibition of microstories uses narratives and artwork to explore the realities of life with a long term health condition.

It will take place in the Winter Garden, Sheffield, on Wednesday 3rd June, 12-7pm.

Developed in partnership with a team of researchers and clinicians from The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the display will offer a snap shot into what life is like with the rare respiratory disease, pulmonary hypertension. Sheffield is one of only a few national centres caring for people with this illness.

Julia Goddard is a medical student who has interviewed patients from the specialist centre at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, creating a series of ‘microstories’ that reflect the realities of living with a life limiting illness.

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition with an unpredictable prognosis that can start at any age and affects around 6-7,000 people in the UK.
However, the experiences and emotions documented will resonate with people living with other chronic illnesses, those with a close friend or family member with illness, and people who want to learn more about the human experience.

The stories are varied in their content, touching on moments such as the relief of diagnosis and waiting to go home from hospital, to the coping strategies of humour, faith, and burying your head in the sand.

The exhibition opens the stories up to the public for the first time, embedding them within artwork that expands visually on the written words.

Ian Sabroe, Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Professor of Inflammatory Medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: “These unique stories help understand how illnesses changes people’s lives, and yet how people still carry on fulfilling lives regardless. The stories are valuable for clinicians, people living with illness, and people caring for those who live with illness.”

Ignite Imaginations worked with a group of young people to read through the narratives and create illustrated canvases that will be revealed alongside the stories and other artwork on the 3rd June.

People will be able to read the stories, reflect and have the opportunity to add their own creative responses, with the hope being that the installation will increase people’s understanding of what it is like living with illness and encourage communication around the subject.