Patience (2009-10)


PATIENCE is a book designed to help people cope with the emotional journey through illness. It’s a no-blows-barred users’ guide to life in hospital, told through art and poetry made by older people in hospital wards. The makers were sometimes in the process of recovery, sometimes coming to terms with dying. There’s also a good dose of humour. Threading between are interviews with nurses, doctors and carers from Stockport hospitals in North West England. 

Philip explains: “PATIENCE is an experiment to see how poetry and art can complement the journey through hospital and recovery. We have left copies of the book on the wards for people to read. It is a document of the extraordinary determination, humour and kindness we encountered in hospital amongst patients and staff.”

“It brings a new outlook from my point of view, reading this book. It makes you think of something else in life, apart from yourself. You cheer one another up.” (Madeleine, Patient)

“This book, it gives other people something of what you feel like.” (Marjorie, Patient)

The book is lavishly colour illustrated throughout with photographs (many are snapshots taken by patients of the view from their hospital bed) visual poems and found objects. There are forewords by poet Carol Watts and psychiatrist Francis Creed; renowned American poet Robert Grenier wrote the ‘afterwards’.

Lois Blackburn: “PATIENCE gives both an emotional and a medical picture of the journey through illness – from denial to acceptance. Dementia and Parkinson’s, depression, diabetes… We have met the experts in treating these illnesses and the sufferers, who in their own way are also experts. It has been a privilege to encounter these inspirational people.”

PATIENCE was compiled from workshops and interviews with people in healthcare in the North West of England by arthur+martha, in a Big Lottery-funded project.


Press and Media

The Guardian newspaper feature

More at 

Blogs about the project at Patience

On-line portfolio

Supported by The National Lottery

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