The Nurses

An installation consisting of 25 bizarre glove puppets. Each in various stages of disrepair: clothing, stitches, stuffing, even faces falling apart.

The puppets are cast, painted and sewn to resemble nursing staff: each has a reversible face, one side a manic smile, desperate to be kind under difficult conditions; the other side a dark frown, depicting the realisation that they do not have the resources to properly care for the sick. The nursing and healthcare staff are unable to control the situation. They have no autonomy. They are being controlled and manipulated: just like a puppet.

The installation appears as a series of vignettes in which the nurses are trying to repair one another, mending and rebuilding themselves. One sewing another’s costume, another painting the face of another, some literally holding each other together. Held in these animated poses they contain an uncanny quality, a sense of supernatural life: demanding the audience to imagine narrative and context.

Accompanied by a found sound score composed by Myles Houghton, rhythmic mechanical sounds trigger the eye to dart from nurse to nurse, imposing a sense of urgency on the spectator.

The vignettes stand on a circular plinth measuring 144cm diameter x 100cm high, they are lit from above with single, hanging light source.

The installation is available for presentation. Please contact us for further information.