Untitled (hospital bed and NG feeding pump)
2009
Mixed Media
Dimensions variable

From the exhibition Inspiring Transformations:Applied Arts and Health (2009)

During my third inpatient admission for the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, I received 2 months of nasogastric feeding whilst confined to strict bed rest and 24 hour observation, with my mobility limited to the use of a wheelchair. This experience was traumatic, immensely frustrating and humiliating. The hospital bed, feeding pump and overbed table are imitations of the objects present in my treatment. The contrast between psychological and physiological treatment is the principal metaphor explored in this piece; the invasive nature of the feeding device beside the clinical platform for slumber contrasts the emotional manifestation of my experience. To be literally ‘hooked up’ to a machine continuously pumping calories into my emaciated body without personal control or choice is distressing; a feeling that is muted by the overt mechanical intervention of the treatment.

To acknowledge this as treatment for a mental illness amplifies the relationship between body and medicine, where the attempt to recover my disordered internal self was administered by a nauseating medical treatment used to recover my external body. Coming to terms with this ordeal has left me contemplating the relationship between patients’ experience of disease and the nature of medical treatment.
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Untitled (hospital bed and NG feeding pump)
2009
Mixed Media
Dimensions variable

From the exhibition Inspiring Transformations:Applied Arts and Health (2009)

During my third inpatient admission for the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, I received 2 months of nasogastric feeding whilst confined to strict bed rest and 24 hour observation, with my mobility limited to the use of a wheelchair. This experience was traumatic, immensely frustrating and humiliating. The hospital bed, feeding pump and overbed table are imitations of the objects present in my treatment. The contrast between psychological and physiological treatment is the principal metaphor explored in this piece; the invasive nature of the feeding device beside the clinical platform for slumber contrasts the emotional manifestation of my experience. To be literally ‘hooked up’ to a machine continuously pumping calories into my emaciated body without personal control or choice is distressing; a feeling that is muted by the overt mechanical intervention of the treatment.

To acknowledge this as treatment for a mental illness amplifies the relationship between body and medicine, where the attempt to recover my disordered internal self was administered by a nauseating medical treatment used to recover my external body. Coming to terms with this ordeal has left me contemplating the relationship between patients’ experience of disease and the nature of medical treatment.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: