I’ve just returned from a whistle stop tour over to London for The Art of Caring exhibition held at the Rose Theatre in Kingston on Thames. The exhibition is inclusive and showcases a diverse range of talents, giving us an insight to the world of Caring and Care. Visual artists from as afar as Colombia and New York have shared their responses to the theme of ‘Resilience’ inspired by the International Council of Nurses. The exhibition opened last night and runs until 24th May 2016, 10am-6pm daily on the Upper Gallery floors at the Rose Theatre. You can read more here.
There is a real art to caring and it is rare to be part of such an inclusive movement in England’s capital. London is a massive city with a population more than 40 times that of Swansea. It is a global centre for finance and is one of the most expensive places on the planet. I know with such a massive place there are people who care but it is often hard to find amongst the madness. The cost of a tourist attraction is an average day’s wages for anyone from Wales and the most popular pastime seems to be travelling forever on the underground. It seems to be that everybody is so busy looking after themselves that they forget to care for each other, a far cry from the welcoming experience I’ve always had living in Swansea.
In London’s mad metropolis there are all these selfish people running about with their designer handbags and bespoke interiors who are just as fallible as the rest of us. I don’t care how expensive their homes are or how they ignore each other in a desperate display of one-upmanship, they’re still flesh and bone, they still live and die, they still eat and shit as much as the rest of us. Yes, you might be able to pay for private services to help you through stuff but you will still need the humanitarians amongst us to patch up your sorry flesh and bones at some point. Your personal trainer, paid to help you look great in Hyde Park, might say he cares but he’ll disappear the moment you stop his pay cheque. Meanwhile we have nurses and doctors up and down the country whose level of caring isn’t directly linked to your salary or to theirs. They will help you through absolutely everything and work round the clock to try and get you back on your feet again. They’ll treat everybody equally from the princes to the paupers. Hopefully you’ll realise before it’s too late that the rat race hasn’t given you everything you need and that kindness and caring is actually free.
For me The Art of Caring exhibition deals with the resilience shown by nurses across the world in the face of overwhelming political stupidity as well as financial idiocy. It salutes support services run on charity donations as well as the resilience of the caring professions in the face of the selfish and the irresponsible. I will never be able to understand London’s need to make money over caring for others but rest assured there are some people who live there who are bucking against that trend. I am humbled and honoured to be part of this movement. This exhibition may have been small but its intentions are more far reaching and valid than the biggest exhibitions in the swankiest of districts. There is a real art in caring and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Wherever you live and whatever your needs please always practice this art as often as you can.