A Willis Newson project brings together hospital stories and shared experiences – Crucible Launch

Crucible – A commissioned project for Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust (BSUH) as part of Connect, in partnership with Willis Newson.

Delivered by South West based arts and health consultants Willis Newson, Crucible, is a partnership project with Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust (BSUH) commissioned as part of Connect, the 3Ts Hospital Redevelopment Public Art Programme.

The past year has shown us, more than ever before, the need to cherish and celebrate the NHS. This new project highlights the amazing history of just one NHS hospital from its origins as a sea-bathing hospital to its life-saving research work in the 21st century and shows the vital role that people have played in this story.

As part of the project Brighton-based arts collective Nimbus have created a new Crucible website for visitors to access online from wherever they are in the world, to learn more about the heritage of the hospital, or to reminisce and reflect on the past experiences of those working or being cared for there.

Stories range from memories of the Great Storm in 1987 and the Brighton Bombing in 1984 to advances in medical techniques, such as improvements in treatment of HIV, cancer and eye surgery. Oral histories come from midwives, doctors, patients and those working in other varied roles at the hospital from the 1950s to present. Images, meanwhile, span those from as far back as the early 19th century when the hospital was being built, via new developments in the 1940s and 1960s, and including images of the wards, patients and staff across the hospital’s history.

A period of research for the Crucible across 2018 and 2019 included: workshops with the public led by artist Daniel Locke, collecting oral histories with past staff and patients (delivered by Strike A Light – Arts and Heritage), and the gathering of objects and documents. Reflecting these activities, the new website now contains over 30 oral histories and 30 images of the old hospital for viewers to look at and listen to. A permanent artwork telling these stories in a mural created by Daniel will be sited in the new 3Ts Hospital Redevelopment when it opens on the Royal Sussex County site.

Visit the newly launched Crucible website for more information – thecrucible.org.uk


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