An artist’s exploration into Brexit for European workers of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Mir Jansen is a dutch national living in the UK for the past 31 years. Now working as an arts coordinator for SheffieldTeaching Hospitals, Mir works with patient groups and long stay patients to lifting the mood in patients who are very ill. The arts and health helps NHS patients to recover quicker, engaging with the care and treatment they receive much better. In 2016 23rd June there was a referendum (Brexit) and the vote to leave. ‘I was really quite shocked. I hadn’t seen it coming. I went through a process of being angry and sad and reflecting. I was then curious to see if other people like me who worked in the NHS felt the same’. Mir proposed an exhibition which started with interviewing European workers at Sheffield teaching Hospitals. Asking them all to tell Mir why they moved the UK and heard their stories of their home countries and their journey’s which led them to the uk and first experiences of being here. In this talk Mir discusses this exhibition and her findings.

About the speaker

Mir Jansen is a visual artist and currently Arts Coordinator for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. She was a founding member of Sheffield’s S1 Artspace, followed by becoming the Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace for 14 years. Resuming her own creative practice in 2014.

‘I am interested in why people migrate and how people adapt to new ways of life, cultural changes, different languages. During and after my studies I was particularly interested in the notion of 'home’- particularly the spaces and boundaries we create within the places we live in. Part of the construction of the idea of home is to create a notion of being at home, a sense of belonging. I moved to the UK in 1987 from The Netherlands where I was born but I often forget that it took time and effort to adapt to a new way of life an language.

My current project, ‘At Your Service’, will be exhibited at Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield from 27th September until 4th November as part of their Ways of Making exhibition programme. I interviewed 11 European employees of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals over the course of 1 year. Each individual talked to me about the place they came from, why they moved to the UK and each person was asked the same 6 questions: What was your reaction to Brexit? What do you miss about the country you moved from? What do you like about Sheffield? What do you like about the NHS? What are your concerns for the future of the NHS? What contribution do you think you make to life in the UK/Sheffield?‘

We will be gathering at Yorkshire Artspace where Mir’s current project 'At Your Service’ is being exhibited. She will talk us through the chaos of her subject matter as we are surrounded by the works for our #CMchaos morning. Join us as we kick off our Autumn season.

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