The Walking Gallery of Healthcare

The Walking Gallery is a walking wall of individuals who wear personal patient narrative paintings on their backs. They are attending medical conferences where often there isn’t a patient speaker on the dais or in the audience. They are providing a patient voice, and by doing so, are changing the conversation. While creating national health policy medical professionals and government officials are often more reliant on aggregate data sets, bar charts, graphs and statistics, rather than the whole picture of care, the personal patient narrative and the individual human face.

The Walking Gallery movement hopes to diversify the source content that is used to create the foundation for patient centered care policy, by infusing art imagery depicting a unique patient history or personal story.

An artist or artists will interview medical professionals and lay individuals to form a patient centric narrative. The artist will then create representational imagery and paint that picture story upon the business jacket of the provider of the narrative account. The provider of the patient story aka “Walker” will wear the jacket to medical conferences and events in order to disseminate the patient story to a large group of policy minded attendees and to represent the individual patient [...] continue the story

Painting Pain Art Gallery – Three

Breast Cancer Mastectomy

I am a woman thru and thru. I am not defined by the size of my breast. I am sexy with an A cup or a D cup. I am sexy even with only 1 breast. I feel beautiful, therefore I am beautiful. A womans beauty comes from within and not from what is on the outside. I am beautiful, see me shine, I still have one left behind, a woman I am until the end, even though I am not a ten, my beauty is here, it’s now within, I am a woman till the end. Poem by: Nancy Crowell

Laura’s Foot This morning I woke somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30 AM. I do not know the reason I woke. I had only been “asleep” for about five hours, maybe less. I went to “bed” at just about 11:30 PM. I cannot see in the mornings, so everything was a myriad of light and dark, without color. I cannot hear normal sounds in the morning. I only hear a combination of ocean roar, antique radio and television static and my own heartbeat as loud as Poe’s Telltale heart. I lay there on my bed staring up, as even rolling over to get out of bed can take ten [...] continue the story

Lauren Pizzi: AWD (Artist with Diabetes)

In late 2010, I began thinking about how I could allow my 15 years living with type-one diabetes to speak in a non-abstract, relatable, and original way. “Balance” (oil on canvas, 2010) 9 x 12” This was my first attempt to paint anything from a pure, conceptual approach. After photographing dozens of pictures of my daily companions, (low blood sugar treatments: skittles and smarties as well as my insulin bottle/syringes, which I use to fight high glucose levels) I realized that this still life literally was my life. Even with tight management of my disease, low and high levels are frequent. “Balancing Act” (charcoal on paper, 2012) 22×30″ In one perspective, diabetes can be compared to as a job I didn’t apply for, a job I received, and a job I can never take a day off from, but it has also given me strength, patience, and optimism. That’s what I hope the painting displays; a juxtaposition of brightly colored candies and the sudden sharp, alarming glisten of an exposed syringe. I used to be afraid of labeling myself, but now I proudly say, “I am a diabetic.” With the completion of this work, (Balance) I believe I found my voice. Bittersweet (charcoal, pastel, gel medium, oil [...] continue the story

What can medical students learn from patient art?

Robert Pope, Dalhousie medical school’s first artist in residence, painted his journey with cancer. His work was displayed for medical students so that they could learn from what he went through and is now on exhibition for the public.

Painting Pain Art Gallery – One

Paintings by Heather Bolinder Rachael

The newest scar looks like a 10-inch zipper starting from the base of my skull down towards my shoulders and the muscles around it ache like crazy. But my permanent nerve pain feels like bees stinging the top left side of my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth’s Chronic Lyme Disease

Beth, an 18 years old suffers with Chronic Lyme Disease. This is when her life turned upside down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hip Bullet

The painting below is inspired by Christine, who’s chronic pain is in her hip.  Her pain feels like a bullet going through her hip, shattering the bones causing fire like pain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tooth Ache

Somebody asked me what chronic pain felt like.  I said ever had a terrible tooth ache that won’t go away.  Welcome to chronic pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Migraine

It was one of those days and I had a bad Migraine.  The blue face is how nausea I felt and I was in too much pain to cry. The skeleton is how dark and miserable I felt, but the c-clamp keeps tightening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More by Heather Bolinder