Two members of staff from Liverpool University Hospitals have been chosen alongside other healthcare workers in the city to be the subjects of a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool which opens this week.
Nurses Emily Johnson, and Shari Soriano, who work at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, were invited to take part in the exhibition by New York-based artist Aliza Nisenbaum to showcase their experiences of working during COVID-19.
Emily Johnson, Critical Care Nurse, said: “It was a really cathartic experience taking part in this project, I wanted to take part because I was so proud of the team on HDU and ITU (and everyone who came to help from other areas), I wanted our lived experiences to be recorded.
Having the photographs taken in the park, in my full PPE - with my little dog was a bit of a surreal experience, I think nothing phases the people of Toxteth because no one batted an eyelid! Waiting to see the portrait gave me something to look forward to - I can't wait to see the full exhibition.”
Influenced by the Mexican mural movement and its depiction of social history, Nisenbaum creates paintings that often focus on different members of a community and with the current global health crisis in mind has focused on NHS staff from Merseyside hospitals for her new commission. This will be the first solo exhibition of Nisenbaums work in Europe, bringing together new and existing work, with the portraits of Liverpool’s key workers at its centre.
Shari Soriano, Intensive Care Nurse , said: “it has been amazing to have met Aliza Nisenbaum even on Zoom. Aliza is a very remarkable artist who had raised the bar and managed to do all this during a pandemic. It is a humbling experience to be a part of this. It will be very nice to have something to look back on later, a reminder that with each other’s help, we had gotten through one of the most devastating times in recent history.”
The exhibition will run from 15 December 2020 to 27 June 2021, for more information or to book tickets visit: https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool
Aliza Nisenbaum Shari, Intensive Care Nurse 2020 © Aliza Nisenbaum. Photography by Jeff McLane, courtesy the artist and Anton Kern Gallery, New York