Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.


Projects at the Horton Hospital

Artist in Residence: These Are The Hands

These Are The Hands is a photographic project by Tony Davis, who is Artist in Residence at Oxford University Hospitals from June 2014 - June 2015.

Tony is working with staff and patients through all the Trust’s hospitals - the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic hospitals in Oxford and the Horton Hospital in Banbury - to make a photographic study focusing on hands.

The project will engage with staff from all aspects of hospital life and aims to reflect their myriad roles in supporting and helping patients throughout their care. It takes its name from a poem by Michael Rosen created for the NHS which is reproduced below.

Hands are a fundamental way we make contact with each other. This is nowhere more evident that in the care we receive in hospitals. Tony is interested in linking the roles staff play and the implicit delivery of those roles. Can our hands represent us as a kind of portrait? Whose hands do what? Can we tell people apart by their hands? Is there a connection between hands and job/skill? He'd like viewers to connect the idea of carers from all perspectives with an aspect of the tools of their trade. He will be photographing people from all sectors of hospital life - from office to surgery, including those who clean and maintain hospital buildings to the doctors and nurses who administer care, as well as patients.

    The final artwork will include:
  • Four sets of images, one set installed in each hospital
  • A digital book - hopefully!
  • A website - - which will develop through the project

The first set of images from the project will be installed in the Horton Hospital in Banbury in 2015. Fundraising will then take place to create further sets for the Churchill and John Radcliffe hospitals and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford.

If you are a member of staff or patient and would like to get involved please contact Ruth Charity, Arts Coordinator for artlink e: tel: 01865 222509

These Are The Hands

Michael Rosen

These are the hands

That touch us first

Feel your head

Find the pulse

And make your bed.

These are the hands

That tap your back

Test the skin

Hold your arm

Wheel the bin

Change the bulb

Fix the drip

Pour the jug

Replace your hip.

These are the hands

That fill the bath

Mop the floor

Flick the switch

Soothe the sore

Burn the swabs

Give us a jab

Throw out sharps

Design the lab.

And these are the hands

That stop the leaks

Empty the pan

Wipe the pipes

Carry the can

Clamp the veins

Make the cast

Log the dose

And touch us last