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Royal Derby Hospital Image Club Derby This week we focus on a special club for NHS staff members
The Royal Derby Hospital Image Club, for NHS staff members, talks to AP about their passion for photography
When was the club founded?
In 2016 visual artist/photographer Valerie Dalling was commissioned by Air Arts to work with members of staff on a number of creative approaches to photography workshops, with the intention of offering staff an introduction to a leisure interest in their place of work.
As a result of the positive feedback received following the workshops, she was invited back in 2017 to set up and facilitate a monthly photo forum.
What does the club offer new members?
The group is non- competitive, and it enables staff to meet through a friendly and relaxing monthly social activity. All members of staff and volunteers who attend the group have extremely important and caring roles to play within the hospital, and one of the members summed it up by saying, ‘So many things in the world use up your time and energy, but Image Club is pure pleasure’.
Describe a typical club meeting.
Everyone is encouraged to participate, share images and the stories behind them, and help each other when questions arise. But above all, the aim is to relax and enjoy their interest together.
Do you invite guest speakers?
As a relatively new and small self-funded group, professionals have been very supportive. They include the wonderful John Blakemore who brought along beautiful black & white prints from the darkroom; Chris Upton, who took us on a trip around the world through framing and composition; Caroline Bridges, who along with daughter Chloe as her model provided a practical evening of portraiture and lighting; and Rob Knight of RK Photographic, who spoke about working on projects in preparation for exhibitions.
Do members compete in regional or national competitions?
A number of members have entered competitions outside of the club and some have been successful in having their work published.
How many members do you have?
In this current year, there are 15 members and interestingly, unlike many photography clubs, male members are slightly outnumbered by female members.
Are any trips or outings planned?
Members are keen to socialise, and there have been trips to exhibitions at both Quad and Derby Museums, photography field trips in the Peak District, and there’s much more in the pipeline.
Are there any funny tales about the club?
Laughter is high on the list of priorities for the club. The first time members went up into the Peak District for a day of photography together, a very happy day was had by all and while there isn’t really a funny story attached to it as such, there were some great shots of each other, with some members now being known for their ‘coffee stops’, a ‘thing for green’, and ‘a master of shadows’ when it comes to a day out with their cameras.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
This year the group are delighted to have been allocated permanent exhibition space at the Royal Derby Hospital, where seven members of the Club will be showing work together as part of the current Air Arts Seventy exhibition, celebrating 70 years of the NHS.
This lovely group is excited for the future growth of their club and look forward to welcoming colleagues along to join them in the future.
Valerie Dalling recently set up a second photography group for members of NHS staff at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, and with the full support and approval of the Arts Programmes from both Derby and Sheffield, one of the goals is to see a development of exciting projects and exhibitions forging links between the hospitals, their staff and the two cities.
A selection of images from Royal Derby Hospital Image Club members An RDH club day out to the Peak District