author Dave Eldergill unveils new book
Burnham-On-Sea author has unveiled a new book this week exploring
life in several Derby hospitals from his experience as a nurse.
Eldergill's new publication is called 'The Nightingale Quarter'
is now available on Amazon
told Burnham-On-Sea.com why he's written it: "The genesis of
this book grew from my visual arts practice. I had been working
on a project which explored my experiences training as a nurse in
closure and subsequent fall into disrepair of the Royal Infirmary
made me question my own relationship with the place where my personal
artistic journey intersected with a wider cultural narrative."
hospital existed as a location where the great and meaningful personal
events of life's great journey were played out, a place of wondrous
joy and a place of deep painful sorrow."
was an institution central to the life of the city, needed at those
pivotal times. Some of us are born in hospital, we come into the
world amidst its hullabaloo, secure that within it's walls expert
help is on hand to ease any trauma of the experience."
it is there that we first encounter the frailties of the journey,
maybe a childhood injury or the ill health of a relative. For some
of us it is the place where we first realise the inevitable destination
of the journey and face our own mortality."
art project necessitated a period of extensive research. I visited
the site and explored the empty decaying corridors which still existed
in my mind as the busy environment I remembered. I met with members
of the Derby nurses League and talked with former nurses who had
trained as far back as the 1940s. The result of this was an installation
of paintings, drawings and a video projection which was exhibited
in Bridgwater in 2015."
my time as a nurse I was fortunate to meet and talk to so many people.
People whose lives had traversed the 20th century and been impacted
by the unfolding of its history. People who experienced circumstances
I would not have been able to bear, and others who could recount
memories which seemed to be the stuff of fiction. I was able to
be with people at some of these times, at the extremes of life's
rich and varied patterns of experience. I wanted to try to recall
that time and recount some of my own narrative, how I grew and changed
as a person through the things I learned and the encounters I had."
can tell some compelling stories and I hope some of my experiences
as a student and whilst working in the profession may be interesting
and perhaps even a little entertaining. But more than that, I want
to be able to retell some of the many, many stories I was privileged
to have had shared with me, those brief glimpses into the lives
text is of course a fictionalised re-membering, so I have changed
names, I have combined things from different people and made new
stories. There are places and events I have been told of, that I
have swapped around, that I have added to, or deliberately decided
to leave out."
I am telling people's stories because nobody exists in a vacuum,
all of our individual journeys intersect with those around us and
in those meetings history is made."