Davis & Jones


This project was delivered by Davis & Jones as part

of Move for Fresh Arts at North Bristol NHS Trust

and managed by Willis Newson for Carillion.

First published 23 February 2012

Copyright Eleanor Wynne Davis

Deborah Aguirre Jones

ISBN: 978-0-9571705-0-6

Published by Willis Newson Ltd

Photographs Eleanor Wynne Davis

Designed by City Edition Studio


Davis & Jones


In the midst of everything,

what makes you feel well?

Excerpts from a collection of conversations conducted in and

around Frenchay and Southmead hospitals. North Bristol NHS

Trust provides healthcare to the people of North Bristol, South

Gloucestershire and further afield from its two main hospital

sites at Frenchay and Southmead. 2014 sees the opening of a

new hospital which integrates the acute hospital services from

Frenchay and Southmead onto a single site at Southmead.

Artists Davis & Jones have been commissioned by North

Bristol NHS Trust as part of the Fresh Arts Programme for

the New Hospital to create a series of artworks during this

time of transition. Called MOVE, this series seeks to make

connections, start conversations and honour the past and

future hospitals.

Well is the first visible element of MOVE.

During Summer 2011 the artists travelled through the hospitals

asking people “In the midst of everything, what makes you

feel well?” They wanted to find out something of the people

who make up the hospitals, what makes them tick and go on

to share this with others.





In the

midst of


what makes

you feel



TAPS Trainee Assistant

I like sunlight, flowers, good music and a happy


I like being organised.

I don’t like chaos.

I do like to be kept busy.

I like to be by the sea, walking along the sand.

I love walking the dog, throwing sticks.

I have two daughters and a son. They’re pretty good.

When patients show that they’re thankful, that’s

when I feel proud of what I do.



Grounds Maintenance

I’m an art lover. I love looking at pictures. I went over

to the Lowry (Museum). It was amazing, he painted

exactly what he saw. To me it’s beautiful.

I like listening to Elgar, it makes me feel relaxed.

I might put it on in the background and cook.

If I’m in a concert and I hear Holst’s The Planets it

makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

The first time I heard it was in Colston Hall 45

years ago when I was 11.



Speech and Language Specialist

Is well the same as happy?

The first thing is bare feet on the grass.

The smell of summer and winter evenings, when

I feel grounded, rooted.

… Being on a horse, being in the weather, being outside.

My work is all in the head. With riding it isn’t

physical, it’s about emotion and communicating

through your body. It’s about going within me

to calm down and communicate with the horse.

Thinking without having to use words.

I realised one day that my body and the horse were

all one, there was no barrier, and then I got it; you

can use your breathing to slow the horse and calm

the horse. With babies, you transmit your feelings

to the baby. I got that from working with people

with severe brain injury; using your body to feel

how they are, just being with them, seeing where

the tension is and helping to ease it through

washing and normal activities.

In the book, The Inner Game of Tennis it says

something like: don’t tell your body how to hit the

ball, tell your body where you want the ball to go.

I enjoyed work once I got out of working in a medical

model, when I started working with a social model.

Our job’s about giving people choices.




Construction worker

That’s hard…

I started at Wimpey on the tools pouring concrete.

I’ve spent the last ten years working on hospitals.

The team are important to me. Some have come

from Portsmouth (hospital) and I’ve been working

with them for six years.

My wife says I don’t switch off. I dream about the

end product, the new thing.


Julia and Ayshea

Health and Safety Services

We’re curious and nosy.

Happiness and wellbeing can be different things,


Well at home is my children: seeing them do well,

seeing that they’re healthy and happy.

Well at work is doing my job well and feeling like

I’m making a difference.

Being able to make your own decisions.

We acknowledge each other’s strengths, coming

from very different backgrounds.

It’s getting that work/home-life balance.

My Bathroom’s almost finished! You’ve just got to

look for projects!



Student Nurse

Having a worthwhile job.

Having something worthwhile to come back home to.

To relax, I do photography, of nature mostly. I go out

to Henbury bluebell woods.



Research Associate

Being free from illness. Being in control of your

body and mind, it not controlling you. Your body

not letting you down.

I am aware of other people who are not well, and

I have type1 diabetes. I have my health but I don’t

always have control of myself, sometimes I’m

attached to a machine. I was diagnosed in my

early twenties.

I like spending time with my boyfriend, family and

friends, exercise, fresh air, the beach and playing

the piano, feeling relaxed and being away from daily

hassles. Near the sea, I just love the sea, near trees,

not near cities at all.

My boyfriend likes things and gadgets. I like people

and understanding people. It occupies me outside

of work in an interesting back-of-the-mind way.

That innate concern for others.

I like understanding people, then you look at

yourself and try to understand yourself.



Medical Student

… looking forward’s always nice.

I’m glad I made the decision to do medicine, it’s

exciting, you’re making changes and making people

better. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit there’s

new things, there’s change. There are so many doors

that it (medicine) opens.



Hospital Porter

I like here (Frenchay), it’s a lovely place. It has open

space, a community. I’ve never been to Southmead,

I think it’s contained, closed in.

It would be a really big turning point. We’re all up

in the air about our jobs. I still like my job.

Socially, I’m a bitter man. I drink London Pride.



Fresh Arts Manager

Singing. Doing it. There’s a physical aspect, I can

feel really tired after a long day at work and not

really want to go to rehearsal but I never regret it.

It’s energizing, singing makes me feel well, the tingle

factor from the top of my head down to my toes.

Being part of a choir, you’re a part of a larger

community. When we go out and perform, making

this amazing sound, you see people in the audience

laughing along or even crying. It’s such a privilege

to share with people.

There’s a visceral response to music, it’s incredible,

an absolute leveller.

Having a child is, without a doubt, the single most

important thing in my life.

We hang on to life with such a thin thread and it

can be so strong.

You’ve got to get on with life and love the people

who’re around.


Tina and Bill

Patient and family

We were going for a cup of coffee but then saw this,

we came to search out some flowers and greenery.

Life is fleeting but this, the plants and nature, they

will replenish.

We work together, we built a house together … You

do become a team, one way or the other.



Southmead Resident

That’s a good question…

I’ve been playing bridge ever since I was in the RAF, I

play on the internet. It’s not much different to Snap!

Bridge is for the fun of it, it’s a game of skill and a

game of bluff.

Civvie street is different to being in the armed

forces; my mistake was doing only nine years

rather than 22. I liked the comradeship.

I go to church, I’m a church warden.

Being retired I’ve got all the time in the world. I like

being busy.





Nursery Manager

I’ve been thinking about autonomy. There are two

sides; sometimes I wish somebody would tell me

what to do, but I get very used to autonomy and I

do like it, yes.

I go home and I’m on my own; it’s a really good

balance. I do love peace and quiet at home. I like

silence, utter calm. I’ve never stopped appreciating

it really. We hardly ever have quiet times here, but

there are moments.

It’s lovely when you see a child so engrossed in

what they’re doing and not distracted by all the

noise. It’s nice with an adult too. The staff are doing

a really important job. My job is to make sure the

environment’s right for everybody.

I give staff a lot of autonomy. The children have a

lot of autonomy.



Hospital Porter

Seeing people, being with people and working with

people. Helping people who cannot help themselves.

Correcting things that are wrong.

When I grow old, then it’s good to know this will

happen to me and to others. We have to teach our

children and those coming behind.

My children, they make me laugh. As a team we

make each other laugh.

What makes friendship possible is giving good

attention. You focus on the person and give them

fruitful attention. People are not the same. All you

have to do is connect and communicate, it makes

things very good.

See each other as friends.




Gill and Arlene

Senior Health Care Assistants

A and G: We work together quite often, we do every

other weekend.

G: Obviously I look forward to holidays and days off.

I certainly like swimming in the sea. It’s liberating.

I have two daughters and two grandchildren.

They’re wonderful in their own right.

A: I’ve always been in Bristol, I like it.

G: I wouldn’t go on holiday on my own, I go with

family, my granddaughter … this grandchild’s

at home with me. I did the last two weeks of

night feeds.

A: I love the job. We’ve just merged with


G: It’s not very nice for rheumatology staff, having

to come in here and merge.

A: It’s a different sort of care.

G: Orthopaedic patients make a recovery and

go home.

A: Rheumatology patients have pain but you

can’t see it.



Community Worker

Yoga makes me feel good. And when I go out for

a drink! I love my friends, I love working at the

Community Centre.

I love it, making people smile!

I was a trekking tour leader but it was a bit like being

a holiday rep so I decided to set up my own company.

Penguins make me laugh.

I like people, culture, freedom and helping people.

I like people.

Travel is amazing, you learn so much. But it’s sad

as well.

My mum lives in Turkey so I don’t see her very often.






I’m an individual that likes success, I always want

to do well. I play and captain a local rugby team,

St Brendan’s.

I get a good buzz out of patients doing well and

helping people, really making a difference. I think

you’re in the wrong job if that doesn’t matter.

There’s an element of selfishness, I benefit from

them doing well.

I don’t do relaxing. I should do, to be honest.

A friend of mine does yoga. I did go along and, yeah,

it was very good but to be honest I probably won’t

go again.

My switching off is playing rugby.


Phil and Janet

Bristol residents

J: Dancing salsa, I love the music. I find it hard to

listen to that type of music without moving and

feeling like you can do it. Eventually you just do

it. It’s an amazing moment, realising I can do that

complicated movement.

P: I like making things. I’ve been restoring a boat for

about eight years now, I was meant to take two! I can

sit for hours pondering a problem and it’s amazing

when you finally figure it out.

P: We just put it on the water for the first time in

seven years.



Hospital Security

You’ve got to treat people with respect. You’ve got

to have a certain way about you.

I like fishing. Carp fishing. I go near Clevedon with

my best mate; we’re chalk and cheese. Sometimes we

go for three days at a time, away from everything.



Head of Health and Safety Services

Golf in particular. You can’t be stressed on the

golf course; you go out and you can’t hit the ball.

I play golf, I play tennis. It’s well known for

providing oxygen to the brain.

By hitting a ball, that exertion de-stresses you





Music. Giving pleasure to other people. It is

unusual because it is my job. I’m always playing

to other people.

It’s a great atmosphere, being in front of 600 people.

I think we sometimes surprise ourselves and we

don’t know where it comes from.



Speech and Language Specialist

I always feel brilliant when I cycle. I cycle one day a

week and I feel totally different. You can smell the

blossom, see the flowers. It’s exercise I guess, and

being in your environment. It’s particularly nice at

this time of year.


Linda and Ness

Hospital Bank Workers

N: … ooh, good company…

L: The surroundings, they’ve got to be pleasant.

N: I like plants, both in work and at home (I’m a

gardener) and windows to see out of.

L: Bank working suits me, I was looking for part time

work and a friend said phone up the bank office. I

like it because you just do the time as and when you

want to do it. I’m doing four days this week, with a

day off tomorrow. Next week I’ve got three days.

N: I was a computer programmer but I don’t want

to sit in front of a computer every day.

L: I like people-contact, and helping them. I’m easy

going really, as long as I keep busy.



Research Associate

Having energy, not being tired, being productive

at work

Going for a walk on a sunny day with my boyfriend.

Seeing friends, having good news.

Being out, that part of the day when it’s getting dark.

I like going to less built up areas.

Having an open day ahead of me.

I’ve always got ideas and thinking about stuff. I never

really switch off from reading and thinking.

I love my job, it’s meaningful. It gives me a purpose,

I’m making a difference, I have helped other people.

It gives me a sense of worth.

My partner is the main thing that makes me feel well.




Stage name: ‘Performance’

Southmead resident and musician

Playing music of course! Did you see me play?

I write my own music. When a song comes to mind

I can play it in five minutes.

This afternoon I’m playing at Patchway in front of

50 people.

I was born in Hotwells, and have been playing for

23 years.



Speech Therapist

Being with my son, it’s fun, busy, hard work and

amusing. He makes me laugh. He’s 14 months old

and obsessed with tractors. They seem to have a

lot of fun.

A nice environment is important: the buildings,

outside space, being able to get outside, the daylight

and the light.

I like being outside, I love the sea, it’s a sense of

space. I used to go surfing. I do miss the sea. I love

swimming and the freedom. Open space and being

able to walk along the beach, even in winter.



Fresh Arts Volunteer and Artist

I do everything on faith.

It’s either nutty or inspired.

Softness is the only way.

The only thing which works is flow.

There is no judgment.

I choose softness.



Construction Company Section Manager

Being in control, not having a backlog, achieving,

regular recognition and a pat on the back.

If I don’t make it to the gym for a couple of days I

become overwhelmed with things, it’s a pressure

release. I think construction’s a high pressure

profession. The remit of what we’re doing is

massive. If you can manage a construction you

can do anything.

I am always trying to learn and learn and learn.

I don’t want to stagnate.

(Living away from home during the week… ) you

want to make the best of weekends. If you walk

through the door and stress shows on your face

it’s not a good start. We try to spend better time

together at the weekend.



Hospital Grounds Maintenance

Going home at night.

I go for long walks up to Brecon Beacons or

Symonds Yat.

My mother was a farmer’s daughter.

The weather, I don’t like working in it but I don’t

mind walking in it.

I’ve been to The Shetlands and Cyprus, with Explore


I’ve been to Egypt, Jordan, Mediterranean, and Libya

I’d love to go back.

I like to stay where I am but go off and travel.





Sunshine, flowers and trees.

Good family relationships.

Good relationships with friends.

Cats. I’ve got one and a half.


Compassion and caring: without these, the world

would be a much harder place.



Speech Therapist

What is being well? It’s that lightness inside you.

It doesn’t always have to be a happy thing that

makes you feel well. So walking along the beach,

emotionally, it feeds you.

I think sitting in a sunny window. It can be early in

the morning or late in the day. There’s nobody else

there. I think it’s enjoying the contrasts in the day.

The busy and the quiet.

If I had that window all day everyday I don’t think it

would be so good, it’s the contrast.


Mr Jallow

Hospital porter

Most of the time, family!

There are lots of things to learn in life, appreciate

what God give you.

I see myself breathing. I see myself alive, helping

everyone everyday.

It’s not about money, but about doing for other

peoples [sic].

Music is my heart. Since I was little it’s been a gift,

bringing happiness when I’m playing drums and

people are dancing.

I’m a sportive man [sic], into cycling, jogging,

running. Back home (in Liberia) I served in the

military so I don’t take life in the big things. I’ve

seen a lot.

Sacrifice your self and soul for someone else.

The nicest thing in life is yourself.




Patient and local resident

Peace and quiet is very important.

Me and my husband go down the caravan, it’s bliss,

just the two of us.

Family, sometimes.

Some days I’m proud of them, sometimes I could

kill ‘em.

Material things don’t bother me, I let the world go by.

Take half an hour everyday for yourself. I do, even if

I just go and have a bath or crochet, it’s my time.

If everybody did that they’d feel a lot better.



Student Staff Nurse

I think the thing that makes me feel good is making a

difference in peoples’ lives.

People come in and their social situation and health

is all over the place. When someone comes in and

there is no order, you can help. Observe and support

them, talk to them.

I just like helping people, it’s rewarding. It’s the

feedback you get from staff, patients, families.

Intrinsically, you know you’ve made a difference.

The day you stop caring and you don’t feel anything

is the day you should stop.


Davis & Jones would like to thank all of the people

who took part, sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Thanks also to those who made the project possible,

including Ruth Sidgwick, Joanna Espiner, Jane

Willis, Jono Lewarne and Kirsty Rose.

ISBN 978-0-9571705-0-6

9 780957 170506

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