Rock photographer rolls into Charing Cross Hospital

A music photographer is exhibiting his work in the hospital where he had a life-changing operation.

Richard Gray returns to Charing Cross Hospital to open a new exhibition, titled ‘London Rocks! Music Venues in the Capital’, just one year after his surgery.

The show, which features images of artists includes images of Royal Blood, Seal and First Aid Kit on stage, spends four months at the Fulham Palace Road hospital before moving up to Hammersmith Hospital in Du Cane Road, White City, until the end of October. The artworks will then be sold for hospital funds.

Richard, the house photographer at Bush Hall, in Shepherds Bush, said: “I’m delighted to be able to give something back to the medical team at Charing Cross who did such a fantastic job with my surgery.”

He consulted doctors at Charing Cross after experiencing tingling in his feet, which developed into weakness in his legs. He was in and out of the hospital for tests and appointments over several months before being warned that his condition could be serious.

In November 2016, neurosurgeons advised a back operation to prevent a damaged thoracic disc affecting his spinal cord. “They warned me that it could get really serious if it wasn’t dealt with,” said Richard, who spent five days in hospital. “I could have ended up paralysed from the waist down.

“It was elective surgery but their call was that we should do it. Now I’m glad we did – my legs feel stronger and I’m back to full-time work.”

The exhibition, which opens on Thursday 22 March and which also marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS, features such venues as as well as The Lexington, Scala and Brixton Academy.

Other artists featured include The xx, Savages, The Staves, Fat White Family, Ibibio Sound Machine, Father John Misty, British Sea Power and Christine and The Queens.

Image caption: Other artists featured include The xx

“London is home to many of the country’s most famous live music venues and I wanted to choose images that show the artists in context,” said Richard.

Organised with help from Imperial Health Charity, which manages a museum-accredited hospital art collection, and with sponsorship of Metro Imaging, the hope is that the show will stimulate hospital visitors.

Lucy Zacaria, head of arts at the Imperial Health Charity, said: “We aim to transform clinical settings into bright and uplifting areas. We are really excited to bring Richard’s stunning photographs into our hospitals.”

Last year, former Roxy Music member and David Bowie collaborator Brian Eno gave four of his artworks to brighten up otherwise blank walls at Hammersmith Hospital.

The charity’s 2,000 works of art constitute the only hospital-based collection in the country granted museum status by Arts Council England.

As well as art by David Mach, Henry Moore, Julian Opie, Chris Orr, Bridget Riley and Clare Woods, there is also an arts engagement programme for patients and staff.

Image caption: Dirty Three

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