FUN WITH CANCER PATIENTS
QEII Hospital, Birmingham
We travelled to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in July to visit the ward, staff and patients of the Teenage Cancer Trust. The project was conceived by Brian Lobel, a performance artist whose work explores the myriad untold aspects of living with cancer. Over the last year he has been organising 'actions' at which teenage cancer patients can meet one another, discuss their treatment and participate in workshops, art projects and days out.
Our contribution to the project was to make dinner for nine young patients on the ward, cooking anything they requested, and giving them a chance to escape the predictability of the in-house catering for an evening. In around four hours, we shopped, prepped and then cooked dinner in one of the hospital kitchens. Mike made dough for a variety of pizzas and chips (which we knew we would be asked for..), Josh a fish pie and roasted chickens. Dinner was served in bed, and some of the kids' families joined us.
Photographs of the dishes by artist Christa Holka and documentation by Dr Cath Lambert from Warwick University formed part of the exhibition, Fun with Cancer Patients, which was shown at MAC as part of Fierce Festival.
The project was supported by Wellcome Trust and the University of Chichester.