Creative enquiry: Stepping into the frame

Talk Code: 
Essi Igwelaezoh

I have recreated a photograph of my little brother and I, whilst also incorporating the person who has taken the photo within my drawing. The main reason for including the photographer within the piece, was to use the photographer as a representation of the doctor, and me and my brother to represent the patient, depicting how the health worker should try and ‘step into frame’; allowing themselves to be in view within the doctor-patient relationship.

This is a concept which is often overlooked, as within a consultation, doctors don’t often think of placing themselves within the patients story when trying to offer help, but instead often paint the patient as a separate case that they’re trying to solve; immediately distancing yourself from the patient and creating a hierarchy of levels.

This is just like in a photograph, as we are constantly provided with a range of different stories and experiences within different photos, but never really think about the hidden person behind the camera- who is acting as a vehicle to capture the pictures. Thinking this way also neglects the relationship between the ‘’photographer’’ (doctor) and ‘photographed’ (patient), as it creates a space in which they’re not existing together within the photograph.

This can be detrimental as applied to healthcare, as placing yourself outside of view within a consultation, creates distance between you and your patient- making it harder to understand the whole story surrounding them.

The image of the photographer is fairly insignificant in the corner of my drawing, intentionally done, as it symbolizes a doctor within the consultation, who is stepping into the frame in view of the patient- but without occupying too much space, to reflect how we should let ourselves be seen, but still have the patient at the center of our care priority. The drawing of the hand in the corner- which is symbolic of a doctor- is also drawn in a way that the hand is merging into the drawing of me and my brother (symbolic of a patient); thus representing how the stories of both the patient and the doctor are intertwined into a single story within a consultation, with the patient looking for the doctor to interact with and change their fluid story for the better.

The picture of me and my younger brother, has a lot of meaning to me and represents my own personal narrative. Hence, I think this reflects well how we all have a role to play within a bigger story, as well as the possibility of acting as the narrator for other stories in the future, by listening to patients who come to present to you in a medical setting.

Essi Igwelaezoh

Year 2

Bristol Medical School