Art Art

Finding a visual language for pain

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 11 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1162
  1. Alex Vass (, editorial registrar
  1. BMJ

    An exhibition in the central hall at St Thomas's Hospital, London, from 17 to 29 May and in atrium 1 at Guy's Hospital, London, from 1 to 29 June

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    Artist Deborah Padfield spent four weeks working with 10 people who have chronic pain to create visual images of how they feel. The resulting photographs represent their world—a world in which some of these people have been living for decades, but one that others cannot see or understand, and often don't believe exists.

    Pain is … a concrete straitjacket


    Deborah has had chronic pain since surgery in 1994. Her general practitioner encouraged her to write about her pain and then she began using photography as a way of expressing her feelings. While a patient at St Thomas's Hospital pain management unit in London, she and her consultant, Charles Pither, decided to …

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