Vital Arts

Nurses at Connaught Hospital Walthamstow, 1977. Courtesy of Vestry House Museum and Archives.
Ruth Ewan

Ruth Ewan

Being as you Mentioned

Being as you Mentioned is a bespoke set of flash cards created for use in older adults wards in Mile End, The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham General Hospitals. They have been produced by artist Ruth Ewan in response to interviews recorded with patients across these hospitals. The images featured were gathered from public archives across east London in response to the stories shared during the interview process.

The set is designed for open use to encourage reminiscence, reflection, conversation and sharing between patients, staff and visitors. The cards can be browsed, shuffled, displayed, exchanged, re-organised, matched or paired with another set.


About the Project

Between October 2014 – February 2015 Ruth met and interviewed over 30 older patients across Mile End, The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham General Hospitals, asking them to talk about their lives.

Most of the patients were born in east London; Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Wapping, Bow, Poplar, Stepney, Shoreditch, Hoxton, Hackney Wick, Clapton, Newham, Barking, Walthamstow and others arrived here from far off lands; Aberdeen, Torquay, Dorset, Cork, Granada and Mauritius.

They had worked as milkmen, cleaners, nurses, dress-makers, cigarette-makers, shop assistants, van drivers, print compositors, nannies, switch board operators, typists, telephonists, piano teachers, community radio station managers, soft toy manufacturers, button factory workers, car factory workers, paint factory workers, chemical factory workers, canteen ladies, chamber maids, dumper truck drivers, builders, legal book keepers, bakers, lollipop ladies, instrument makers and postmen.

They enjoyed themselves; dancing, watching football, listening to opera, watching soap operas, learning computer skills, researching local history, being part of community campaigns, visiting the seaside, watching detective films, spear-fishing, racing greyhounds, playing marbles, reading Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, boxing, singing and playing bingo.

The images featured were carefully chosen by Ruth Ewan in response to these conversations. Many feature places or vocations mentioned in the interviews. On the reverse of each card appear short extracts from a selection of the interviews.

Ruth Ewan