Undertaking a 5 month ethnography my doctoral work charts the very stark reality that is the compressed, negated and bracketed out future for someone with a severe brain injury – however well they rehabilitate.
For those unable to demonstrate rehabilitative progress their futures are barely imagined at all by those who care for them. The everyday becomes the focus of their life where horizons are compressed to a choice between the day room or their bedroom, the red trousers or the blue.
The future making potential held by therapists and other healers shifts to the hands of those who specialise in making and keeping the present – care assistants, cleaners and cooks. Through the telling of what these people do and how they do it, remarkable caring relations at the margins of neurological care home life are uncovered.
Through a will to engage further with the issues of this arena Visual Artist Seth Oliver wanted to respond to my doctoral study, the place and the people it was collected with.
The patchwork of Seth’s in progress piece The Milk Shed is a design for a patchwork quilt. The Milk Shed is a portrait of a young girl with three empty hospital rooms seen from 3 different perspectives.
It charts the connect and disconnect of the girls’ past, present and future and the efforts of the multitude of those around her to create a present through representing her person past.