Written portraits illustration

Hear the stories of patients and staff at a typical London hospital, told through the poems of Di Sherlock. 


She shrugs off the memory

like a scratchy sweater

or an old skin,

says cancer is one more curve ball

Life’s thrown her way.


‘Written portraits’ is a collection of poems by Di Sherlock drawn from conversations with patients and staff she met during a residency at Charing Cross Hospital and Maggie’s Centre West.

The poems are part of the ‘People Like You’ project which sees Di’s collaborators at Imperial College and Goldsmiths University of London investigating perceptions around personalised medicine. The series of 21 portraits explore the ways that preference, need, desire, pleasure and recognition serve as grounds for judging people to be alike.

At this lunchtime event, the Great Exhibition Road Festival brings Di together with anthropologist Sophie Day to discuss the project and the impact this way of getting to know and profile individuals might inform future approaches to a more personalised approach to healthcare. The event will also feature readings of some of the poems.

Written Portraits was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Great Exhibition Road Festival

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free annual celebration of science and the arts in South Kensington with an online events programme throughout the year.

Join us this summer on 18-19 June 2022 as Exhibition Road is transformed into a huge festival to explore the extraordinary. Take part in a weekend of free events for all ages and discover the trailblazing ideas, people and communities that are changing our world.
Enjoy hands-on creative workshops, fascinating talks, performances and installations from iconic museums, research and culture organisations this summer, including Imperial College London, the Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, V&A, Natural History Museum and many more.
Find out more about the Festival and see the full programme on the Festival website at www.greatexhibitionroadfestival.co.uk.
The Great Exhibition Road Festival is supported by Huawei, Lead Technology Sponsor