The purpose of this ACW funded R&D project was to learn how to adapt Four in Four’s visual arts practice to meet the needs of the cystic fibrosis patients & staff both in the hospital and in the community so that they can access the arts; as well as exploring and developing ways to fit appropriate arts activity within the operations of the ward.
“Living with Cystic Fibrosis and Bipolar disorder means that I spend long periods of time in hospital, every six weeks I have to go in for treatment when all I want is to be at home with my family and keeping myself sane with Taekwondo… but it’s a necessity. During a period of exacerbation we have to be mindful about what we can and can’t do physically and mentally as you get absolutely exhausted which makes you feel mentally stressed and drained. Living with CF means I go through long periods where I can’t be around people and I can’t go to Taekwondo or engage with anything really and this makes me feel frustrated, disappointed and upset and really guilty if I have to cancel something. When I was in collage I did two years of an Arts & Design course and I loved it. Taekwondo was a huge inspiration for my art but due to my condition I had to drop out of the third year as I was too unwell. That was really tough to deal with and I felt so disappointed. Taekwondo keeps me sane and helps me manage my bipolar so when I can’t do it I get depressed.
When I met Tamsin & Paul I was having a really bad day and felt really low. By the time they left I felt so much better. I have never laughed so much in my life. Most people stigmatise people with CF as lazy and it feels embarrassing because we aren’t, we are just exhausted. When Paul and Tamsin came to do the Human-Kindness project it was so nice to have people to talk to and listen to what I had to say and express. Because they were so open and non-judgemental I was able to communicate who I am and my circumstances and I felt they truly understood CF and my bipolar. I felt I was able to express, offload, let our imaginations go into all sorts of places, laugh and talk about the things I have been through.
I would engage with any Arts & Health project that Tamsin and Paul do in the future in and out of a hospital environment.”
Patient living with CF & Bipolar