The marvellous organisation that is DotMD were kind enough to sponsor our Brighton conference this year. Each year they run a fascinating ‘Festival of Medical Curiosity’ that always sells out well in advance of the date. This year they had moved the event from Dublin to Galway – on the west coast of Ireland – expanded the capacity from just over 100 to 500 delegates and the programme from one to two days. Their changes paid off. The conference was a huge success, tackling the big questions in healthcare and life and introducing the delegates – comprising mostly of doctors or allied health professionals – to myriad ideas about combining medicine and the arts, through such topics as jazz, zombies and death.
I spoke at their 2016 meeting, and it feels like one of the highlights of my career and I have been itching to go back. I was delighted, therefore, when one of the organisers, Ronan Kavanagh, asked me to organise a Graphic Medicine exhibition as part of this year’s programme. I was doubly excited to learn that our very own MK Czerwiec had been asked to speak about her work.
[image: MK, Ronan, and yours truly]
For the exhibition I invited 39 artists to contribute work that would be shown, as high quality reproductions, together with brief biographies and explanatory text.
The work was printed by the excellent Printer of Dreams in London and shipped over to Galway, meticulously packed in individual tissue papers. It is worth mentioning that many viewers remarked on the high production values of the gorgeous prints. Me and a team of installers took several hours hanging them.
I gave a short talk about the exhibition on the first day of the programme and MK gave a full talk about Graphic Medicine and about her work in depicting and discussing end of life care.
The exhibition seemed to go down very well, and many doctors who had never considered the use of comics in healthcare were excited to discover that such a thing existed.
Scroll down for a list of artists who took part in the exhibition.
The collection has remained in Ireland and we are planning a tour of libraries and galleries.
More information soon.
Thanks to the DotMD organisers, seen here (L to R) Ronan Kavanagh, Muiris Houston, Alan Coss and Eimear Duff, for inviting me to put the show together, and to the Galway Clinic for sponsoring the exhibition. Thanks to Julieann Faherty and Kerry O’Sullivan for sorting logistics and to Dolores Lyne for receiving, handling and hanging the work.