Science Stroke Art in the Victorian Grandeur of Manchester Town Hall. Clinicians, Scientists, Stroke Association Workers, Nurses, TV Doctors, Motivational speakers, Poets, Video Artists, Stroke Survivors, friends and dignitaries and me.
I arrive at 6pm and open the door to the main hall. 250 seats arranged facing the stage and the Stroke Association logo on the screen…. Phew!
This is a big, big event.
First up is the TV Doctor, Chris Steele, with over 30 years of experience as a GP and 27 years in television, he explains that the controllers of TV content need medical complaints to be sexy, before they will broadcast to the public. Then next up Professor Tony Rudd, setting stroke care in a three hundred year context.
Andy McCann, Director of DNA Definitive relates his own experience of Stroke and his positive attitude towards recovery.
After I tell my story, I sing and I hear my voice soar free and unfettered above the audience. For the first time since my stroke, I think my life is making a little sense.
Poet Mike Garry, brings Seamus Heaney’s poetry to the audience along with two stroke survivors whose poems touch us. Mary Bell looks through a window and sees the world of possibilities. Steve Shy explains the debilitation of the physical facts, expresses the anger.
We immerse ourselves into the video art of Mark Ware, images of restriction and constriction, the visual poetry of separation from self…’the Dog that Barked like a Bird’…on Friday 2nd…
In conclusion, the President and Vice Chancellor of Manchester University, Nancy Rothwell provides clarity of thought, describes assuring evidence of progress in research…..
Dr Chris tells us the broadcasters should see that there is a great story here that doesn’t need to be ‘sexy’.
We applaud and we cheer and I feel there has been a fusion, the rational focus of science with the extravagant vision of art.
Science heals the body: Art heals the spirit….my words flutter round the twitter-sphere….where will they settle? Who will they influence? The future scientific researcher, an artist, the newest stroke survivor?
We are starting to raise awareness of Stroke, a first step towards prevention, a second step towards promoting the issues and a giant leap to the future of how we overcome this frustrating thing.
Next stage, Stroke Stories and Human Library books at the John Rylands Library on Deansgate on Friday 9th May.