‘Bed of Barbed Wire and Chains’ Russell Hand © ® 2018. Image courtesy of Natalie Cherry @ flashbangstudio.com

End Bed Blocking Exhibition…

I produced 2 pieces of work / art for this exhibition an image and text piece and a sculpture.

endbedblocking.org

‘To Say Goodbye with Love’

Image and text art piece Russell Hand © ® 2018

The text I wrote which is on the image and text piece. Image / photograph is one taken by myself when I was 18 or so…

We seem to live in a world where so many people are ignored, marginalised, controlled and everyone else seems to think they know what is best for them, particularly when it comes to the old. Their own wants and wishes ignored, people claiming to talk with them, when they actually talk to them, and do not listen to what they want, as with so many who think what they want for them is best. Money comes into this a lot, whether it is family wanting to be left as much money as possible, the governments with short term visions, wanting the easiest and cheapest solutions. Though there are cheaper maybe more sophisticated and complicated solutions. Also the general populace thinking why should they pay for someone to be looked after properly in their own home, rather than lay in a hospital bed. Maybe because like so many things the real costs and benefits are never explained properly… Political expediency and political popularity… Bed blocking is one example… A derogatory term at best ‘bed blocking’, basically someone that is in hospital and has no one to look after them at home or other logistical problems, so they stay in a hospital bed which it is estimated costs £255 overnight to £400 a day…conservative estimates… So it costs between £1785 to £2800 to keep someone in a hospital bed a week… While they could have a full time professional live in carer at home for £795… and be much happier… The longer someone stays in hospital the more chance they have of getting infections, the longer they stay in a bed the longer the recovery and the less chance of being fully mobile again… In what I would call a civilised society the elderly should be looked after well, as the young should too and be given the best possible chance to have the best life possible, and actually realise their potential… At either end of life… as well as in between… Russell Hand

Russell Hand © ® 2018

‘Bed of Barbed Wire and Chains’

Russell Hand © ® 2018 Image courtesy of Natalie Cherry @ flashbangstudio.com

After the exhibition opening I was invited to go down the pub which I did with a number of people… Someone asked me “Why only a head and hand ?” I replied “Disappearance.” A few days later I wrote this…

‘As she lay there feeling the barbs in the bed gradually lengthen and the chains gradually wrapping around her body, she still remembered the day she was admitted to the ward and that feeling that she would be cured and sent home to continue the life she had, surrounded by all her past and things she knew in her own home. But these memories and hope of leaving were beginning to fade, her body and skin were feeling more fragile and delicate each day as she lay there, and a metamorphosis, similar to a play she once saw by Kafka, called The Metamorphosis seemed to be taking place, though unlike Kafka’s plays beginning and Gregor’s plight, “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.” She found that as well as getting more fragile, her bed seemed to be absorbing her or to put it another way, her and her bed were metamorphosing into a new form that were elements of both. It had changed from a comfortable resting place into something of pain and sorrow, and all sense of hope or escape were gradually being lost. She seemed to be becoming more invisible to the staff and even the occasional visitors she had, who seemed to talk at her and not really expect any response, a gradual fading, where she began to wonder if the transmutation once complete, there would be nothing left that anyone could see but the bed, in which case she wondered would they put someone else in it because she had totally disappeared from anyones perception. That is when she was lucid, which like the deteriorating state of her medical health also seemed to be effecting her cognitive abilities, as she was trapped within the bed with no intellectual stimulation to keep her mind functioning. It also almost seemed like another play she knew or a variation on it, ’No Exit’ by Jean-Paul Sartre… The comfort and hope she had first experienced when arriving at hospital had turned into some kind of hell. She contemplated her own disappearance as she lay there, and could almost see parts of her body fade and disappear from existence’

Russell Hand 2018 © ®

This is what I should be doing all the time, making art, writing, opening up spaces of thought, making a positive difference in the world…