2020 - 2021

Sound Observations

We're creating oral history and sound art with the people who followed in the footsteps of the pioneering nurses Mary Seacole (b. 1805) and Florence Nightingale (b. 1820). During the pandemic, which has thrust healthcare workers into the spotlight, we’re recording conversations with nurses and midwives, one-to-one, and in pairs. The title of this programme riffs on Florence Nightingale’s notes on “the sound observer” and her particular attunement to sonic details.

Sound Observations will culminate in a sound-rich permanent exhibition for a new arts space called Central Hall, at St Thomas’ Hospital (early 2021), a musical performance inspired by nurses’ words and a permanent collection at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s archive.

Sound Observations is commissioned by Marie-France Kittler, deputy arts manager from Guy’s and St Thomas.

Kindly supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, The Nightingale Fellowship, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust


"It’s the silent moments between people that is so incredibly powerful. That’s when I get a lump in my throat.  We don’t see it a lot now post-COVID, but before COVID.... When visitors just came and they were at somebody’s bed space for hours and they’d drift in and out of sleep as well, that’s really symbolic of what being is, what existing is, what the love between two people is." Tim Owen Jones