Working for Marie Curie – life through a lens

A photo from the Fairy Dust – Marie Curie at Work in Wales exhibitionA South Wales photographer has opened a thought-provoking photographic exhibition showcasing the work of Marie Curie staff across Wales.

Patrick Olner spent just over a year observing and photographing the work of doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers and fundraisers at locations around Wales, as well as in the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff & the Vale.

The black and white photographs he took are now featuring in a month-long exhibit called Fairy Dust – Marie Curie at Work in Wales at the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay, opposite the Welsh Assembly Senedd building.

The collection features a variety of snapshots showcasing the charity’s work – Marie Curie Nurses carrying out overnight visits in the community, volunteers collecting for the Great Daffodil Appeal outside the Millennium Stadium ahead of a rugby match, even kitchen staff preparing food at the hospice.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, or so the old adage goes, and what Patrick captures in his exhibit is a unique insight into the special relationship that exists between Marie Curie staff and the people they care for – moments of care, support and understanding.

Patrick said of his work: “It has always interested me how people can work in this line of caring, doing what they do and seeing the things they see, and then go back to their everyday lives, playing with the kids back at home. So much of what you see is so caring, moving and respectful, yet to the staff it’s all just part of the job. I wanted to capture what this was like from a staff member’s point of view, working in this environment.

“I think the exhibit is a subtle, slow-burn on working in this particular industry and what it may or may not mean and the highs and the lows that come with it. Because of the subject it needed to be subtle, and I hope it encourages people to think about what it means to work in this industry.”

The exhibition runs from Monday 9 February for one month.

Find out more about the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale