With NHS morale at an all time low and with recent revelations that even NHS doctors could be terrorists here’s something more light-hearted instead. Patients occasionally freely give small gifts, write appreciative notes and thank you cards for the treatment and care received from the NHS. I’ve had several of these over the years from children and adults alike. One of the most notable and creative concerned a chap who wrote a lovely humorous poem about his encounter with me for a simple plastic surgical procedure I performed on him. But creative artwork from children is even more fascinating. Here’s a gander of how kids view the NHS that I’ve come across recently at Fort William…
“The Nurses and Doctor”
This kid’s got his pecking order hierarchical priorities right with a depiction of three black torsoed figurines in a gravity-defying feat of Wushu martial arts levitation of a centrally placed mad witch-doctor flanked by two flunky super-nurses. The sense of light and shadow is well observed with the collective group shadow on the floor. Or it’s a massive pool of blood.
Note it’s only the doctor who has the requisite digits all splayed out ready to grab the screaming kid with the “trust-me-I’m-a-doctor” clinically calculated smile and what may appear to be a surgically implanted stethoscope protruding out laterally from his ear in a Piccaso-esque cubist style. Or it could be some organic alien-auroscopic probe.
This precocious kid has a bright future ahead as he already displays as much anatomical knowledge as the average medical student. He or she could one day be a clinical anatomist, orthopaedic surgeon or an animator for Matt Groening. This minimalist bare bones approach illustrating accurately the axial skeleton of the skull (with parietal suture and orbital cavities!) and individual vertebrae appendaged with humerus, femur and tibia cannot be faulted. Maybe the absence of metacarpals, metatarsals and phalanges could be a legitimate criticism but hey, he’s correctly identified that anterior dislocation of the shoulder is the commonest dislocation presenting to the Accident and Emergency Department so let’s give the kid a break okay?
Okay, this is fucking scary. Maybe it’s the clown like appearance with the weird Marm hairdo, OTT eyeliner with evil eyes staring directly at the petrified bairn and the three midline pom-poms but I think it’s the immense Freddy Krueger razor blade fingers and toes that completes the horrifying nightmarish vision. The Ring and The Grudge has nothing on this. Excellent title and poster for a sci-fi horror B-movie.
A self-portrait of a happy infant with a bountiful bouffant perhaps? The artist may be hinting at something more sinister since the left foot is entirely missing in this pre-operative snapshot of a re-implantation procedure. It’s as if the artist is cleverly inviting the viewer to play a game in a medical version of ‘guess-which-ice-box-contains-my-amputated-foot’? I’m guessing the one on the left since part of a tibia is poking ominously through the lid.
This appears to be a moribund anorexic supine figure with a ring of hirsutism all round the visage and floppy sausage like boobs (or muscular upper limbs?) with some black coloured mass expectorated from the open gob. Haemoptysis? Haematemesis? Whatever the hell is going on, this young artist is INTENSE in choosing a critically ill moment for artistic expression.
Wow…some of these kids are so perceptive. We have an in-utero foetus within it’s amniotic sac and a glimpse of the umbilical cord. And three small fishes swimming around in the uterus.
We have what appears to be a surprised pregnant lady with massive tits standing next to a giant pod. Juxtaposing a seed like vessel for flowering plants with an astonished pregnant mammalian is so damn understated it’s beyond genius. Or maybe it’s just a Sheila with a surfboard.
How can you not ignore those aggressive pen strokes swishing from side to side? The subject matter chosen by the young artist is certainly unusual. This looks like an expression of a traumatic incident for what could possibly be in the big black body bag? A giant pod?
This. Is. Like. Totally. Surreal. A view of the vaginal canal as the baby pops out? Or a metaphorical depiction of how your life spirals out of control once a baby arrives on the scene? I mean, where exactly is the bloody baby?