Materials: hospital bed sheet (found in the stairwell at a local hospital), pigment, applique
‘Fragmented’ was created through a community collaborative of five dietitians, including me. The four others, three of whom were previously unknown to me, had contacted me to ‘have a chat’, as they had heard through other colleagues that I would be a supporter.
They shared the experience of feeling broken hearted that the organizational structures and operations where they worked in hospitals and health units posed challenges to the kind of care they were permitted to provide. I invited them to collaborate on a piece to share their ideas through conversion and art making. We began by talking through shared concerns and then shifting the focus to how to convey the dissonance between what they wanted to do in their work and the restraints of the workplace. We decided on the discarded bed sheet as our canvas, associated as it is/was with health services. We traced one the participants as she lied on a table miming ‘pulling her hair out’. The group decided on the way to convey their broken hearts by making the heart obvious in the applique. One person took an imprint of and added an EXIT sign having discussed her thoughts about leaving her job and the profession. When we were content with the appliqued imagery, the group tossed pigment at the piece (a la Jackson Pollock) to convey frustration and the messiness of trying to find a way forward in their work.