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How Are You Healing? (Exhibition at Southmead Hospital)

Sept 3rd 2018 - January 4th 2019
The Brunel Building, Southmead Hospital, Southmead Rd Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS10 5NB

This research-based exhibition on healing brings together people’s experiences and understanding of physical, mental and spiritual healing; incorporating artistic expressions across the healing spectrum, from mending broken bodies to finding wholeness of mind, body and soul. 

How are you Healing image


The exhibition, which will take place in the Brunel Building of Southmead Hospital, Bristol, between Sept 3rd2018 and January 4th2019, will showcase materials gathered as part of research projects on healing undertaken by a team at the University of Exeter, led by Professor Paul Dieppe. 

In one of the research projects, funded by The Institute of Integrative Health (TIIH), based in Baltimore, USA, the Exeter team asked residents in the South West of England the question “what does healing mean to you?” They expressed their responses in drawings and words that will be illustrated at the exhibition.  The exhibition explores four core themes: 1) the many ways in which we can be ‘broken’ 2) the need for connections to others and to the world around us, and for love and care; 3) healing at the end of life’s journey and the possibility of a good death; and 4) wholeness and oneness.

The designer, artist Deborah Weinreb, has drawn various aspects of the research together to illustrate these themes showing some of the common thoughts and alliances that exist between peoples understanding of healing. She said ‘It has been a real privilege to immerse myself in this research and try to produce outcomes that can inspire others to explore these themes’  

The exhibition offers insights into notions of healing and invites audiences to reflect on their own experiences. The curators welcome your feedback and responses to the work.

Professor Paul Dieppe said “Many of us become ‘broken’ in some way during our lives. Our exhibition explores what we can do when that happens. How can we find a new pathway to wholeness and to travel forward on our own ‘healing journeys’? While we have the capacity to heal ourselves from some kinds of brokenness, often we need help and this can come from connecting to something outside ourselves: from other people, or from nature, or arts or spiritual belief.  Healing journeys are not just about us as isolated individuals, they can be about relationships, families, groups, outdoor spaces. Our exhibition and the research it stems from seek to explore the wide spectrum of healing stories.” 

Donna Baber, Manager of the Fresh Arts Programme at Southmead Hospital said “We are delighted to present the ‘How are you healing?’ exhibition as part of our ongoing arts programme at Southmead Hospital.  The exhibition explores how we can experience the feeling of being ‘broken’ and makes suggestions of ways that we can manage that when it happens. Most of the time we can heal ourselves, but sometimes we need help and this help can come in many forms – from other people, nature, arts and creativity, or spiritual beliefs. The exhibition reminds us that healing often results from connecting to something outside ourselves. 

We welcome people to join us between 4.00pm – 6.00pm on Tuesday 4 September for an informal opening of the exhibition where the artists and researchers will be on hand to talk about their work around healing.  As part of the exhibition, we will also be offering free workshops to our staff about health, wellbeing and healing conscious of the fact that our staff need to be well and ‘healed’ if they are to help others.”

The research team consists of Professor Paul Dieppe, Dr Sarah Goldingay and Dr Emmylou Rahtz, of Exeter University, aided by many other colleagues in many countries, most notably Professor Sara Warber from Ann Arbor, USA.

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