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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
… 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.
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
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
We work together, we built a house together … You
do become a team, one way or the other.
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
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.
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
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
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
A: Rheumatology patients have pain but you
can’t see it.
Yoga makes me feel good. And when I go out for
a drink! I love my friends, I love working at the
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
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,
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
My switching off is playing rugby.
Phil and Janet
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
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
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.
Having energy, not being tired, being productive
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
I was born in Hotwells, and have been playing for
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
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.
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.
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
It’s not about money, but about doing for other
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.
Some days I’m proud of them, sometimes I could
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.
9 780957 170506