AboutIn various ways, heart and lung transplants blur the easy distinctions between life and death, between being alive and not. The transplant unit at Harefield is a place where all these issues cross, where dying and living has a different and more elastic meaning than in the world outside.
Photographer Tim Wainwright and sound artist John Wynne were artists-in-residence together for one year at Harefield Hospital, one of the world's leading centres for heart and lung transplants. Working closely together, they photographed and recorded patients, the devices they're attached to or have implanted in them, and the hospital itself.
Transplant is large-scale photographic sound installation which explores the experiences of transplant patients and the extraordinary issues raised by this invasive, last-option medical procedure. It creates an immersive environment, weaving subtly revealing portraits and striking photographs of the hospital with intensely personal narratives, often recorded at the bedside, and sounds derived from the patients' surroundings.
In this ambitious new work, Wainwright and Wynne investigate the boundaries between documentation and abstraction and search for new relationships between sound and image.
Through all these differences and similarities of sound and vision, seeing and hearing, looking and listening, a rapprochement emerges in the collaboration. The insistent stillness of a photograph hovers in and out of the temporal movement of spoken language, but both add a powerful sense of human presence and individuality to each other. David Toop
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a book edited by Victoria Hume, manager of rb&hArts, an independent charity within Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust which made this project possible. Also entitled Transplant, the book contains perspectives on the artists' work and on the wider issues raised by the project from a range of contributors including writer David Toop, critic Charles Darwent, artist Marcia Farquhar, medical researcher and writer Lesley Sharp, anthropologist Tom Rice, psychologist Claire Hallas and patient Kate Dalziel. The book also contains an exclusive interview with Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, an interview with Tim and John by Angus Carlyle and a DVD by the artists.
Transplant has been generously funded by Arts Council England, The Derek Butler Trust, Harefield Hospital Charitable Fund, Transplant & VAD services charitable funds at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Re-Beat, the John Lewis Partnership, To Transplant and Beyond, and further anonymous donors to rb&hArts.
Additional in-kind support has been provided by CRiSAP (Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice) and The University of the Arts London (London College of Communication), Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Amina Technologies Ltd, Metro Imaging, Objective Image and Learning at Tate Modern.