Dear Health Workers of Newham,

You are invited to contribute to Exposure, a major new art project commissioned by Wellcome Collection. Award winning artist James Leadbitter is capturing the experiences of Newham’s health workers during the Covid pandemic so far. These film portraits will be added to Wellcome’s substantial medical archive as a document of this moment in time, and will tour Newham and internationally as an art exhibition. Your voices and experiences are vital to create a full picture of what you have all been through and achieved.

This project has been approved by the comms department at Barts Trust (Rachel Brooks is our main contact). We have already made portraits with some of your colleagues and you can view a clip of these above.

If you are keen to be part of Exposure, we will film a very informal conversation between you and James at his studio in Hackney. To support you to take part in this project:

  • Portraits can be filmed any day of the week, and it takes around 1 hour (we just need to film in daylight hours.)
  • We will pay for your transport costs and book you taxis if you need them.
  • We will pay for any childcare costs you might have.
  • You can bring a family member or friend with you.
  • We will check in with you afterwards and be available for any questions.
  • You will have the opportunity to review and approve your film portrait before anything is archived or exhibited.
  • During the interview you don’t have to talk about anything you are uncomfortable with.

This is a great opportunity to make sure that health workers’ voices are heard in the future and that we don’t forget what you have experienced. It is also a chance for you to reflect on what has been hard and what has been positive.

Exposure is a project by the vacuum cleaner (James), an artist and mental health activist who often makes art with people in hospitals and with health workers. He has previously worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital, East London NHS Trust Foundation and Broadmoor Hospital, as well as Tate Modern and Southbank Centre.

Please get in touch with Becky to schedule a date and time that suits you between now and late October. You can reach her by email at becky@thevacuumcleaner.co.uk or by phone on 07900880457.