Perceptions of Pain
- By: Upasana Tayal
Medicine has never been the most sociable of professions for providing suitable dinner party chat. But Perceptions of Pain is a striking and thoughtful book of photographs that considers the most common medical symptom and is relevant for medical students, doctors, patients, and the general reader. The book represents eight months of working with patients from St Thomas's pain clinic. All of the patients had intense untreatable pain for between nine and 42 years.
Because pain is subjective, doctors have been accused of not fully appreciating its degree. To this end, Padfield wanted to explore creating a visual language for pain: “I was using photography as a way of regaining ownership of my body and its experiences.” Padfield took a series of photographs based around patients' depiction of pain and patients made notes, drew, and brought objects that were related to their pain. Patients used darkroom and workshop techniques to