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Clinical psychologist’s ‘junk’ photos go on display

'Creativity can help a person find what they are looking for and allay the anxiety'

14 July, 2017 — By Tom Foot

‘Objectors Found On a Thames Beach’, a photo by Dominic O’Ryan 

A CLINICAL psychologist’s photographs which focus on finding order in “piles of junk” are on ­display at St Pancras Hospital.

Dr Dominic O’Ryan said there were parallels between his images and his work helping people diagnosed with mental health conditions.

The exhibition, titled The Art of Caring, includes work by 35 staff and “service users” at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and features installations, sculptures and postcards inspired by the theme of caring. More than 200 entries were submitted.

Dominic O’Ryan

Dr O’Ryan said: “My interest in photography started as a child when I found an old camera belonging to my ­grand­father. I wondered what made the camera work and how it captured his photos from the 40s. I experimented and began to enjoy creating images. I now see my interest in photography as a valuable element in my work as a clinical ­psychologist for the Trust. ”

He added: “Creativity can help a person find what they are looking for and allay the anxiety and sadness that is holding them back from what they want to be. My photos for The Art of Caring are the result of finding how ­others perceive piles of junk and how I find a sense of order that creates new shapes in old ­discarded objects.”

The exhibition, which is at the hospital’s Conference Centre, includes an installation – The ­Sensory Garden – by Alejandra Picco in the courtyard. It also features artwork both from self-taught and professional artists. The show will also feature work by John Sheehy, a former service user at St Pancras.

He said: “I wanted to create a painting that would bring some joy and comfort to all the patients, staff nurses and doctors, dinner ladies, chefs, cooks and ­cleaners. I was inspired by my own times and spells in hospitals where I was well looked after and cared for, even though I was glad to get out, too. I wanted to give something back to ­support the hospital.”

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