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© The Artist

Judith in Hospital, 1986

Timothy Hyman (b. 1946)

Embodying the threshold

  • Medium:
    Oil on paper
  • Dimensions:
    30 × 53 cm
  • Collection:
    Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
  • Coll. No:
    AC 5563

Click here to listen to a recording of poet and novelist Michael Rosen reading an extract from his book 'Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS, (2021), which recounts his convalescence from COVID-19 and the sense he had, while in an induced coma, of the threshold of his body.

'Many Different Kinds of Love' by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell, is published by Ebury Press © 2021, Michael Rosen

Following the reading is another audio recording of a conversation between the artist and co-curator Alice Acland on the artist’s relationship to his wife Judith and on the making of this painting.

This painting is a portrait of the artist Timothy Hyman’s wife, Judith, as she lies in a hospital bed, her face divided by an intravenous drip that runs vertically across the paper. The painting itself also reveals a split between the interior view of a hospital room and the outside world seen through a large window. It delineates the contrast between spaces that are associated with health and those that revolve around a condition of sickness. Hyman appears to capture his wife somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, sickness and health, occupying a state of transition.