I visited Belfast last year having nervously smuggled my original little ceramic TB through airport customs. The day I got to the old TB Institute by the infamous Falls Road in Belfast it was so windy it was hard to make the ceramic piece stand up long enough to take a picture. But here it is anyway. I was also watched by two van loads of workmen watching in silence as I did so, maybe wondering what I was up to.
Ireland plays an interesting part in the story of TB. In Ireland the TB death rate was still increasing in 1900, thirty years after it had begun to decline in England and remained higher until the 1950’s. TB sufferers and their families often felt stigmatised and many people chose to keep quiet about their disease. In time the silence became a habit. To help combat the disease the Institute was opened in 1918…….in later years it became the main blood donation centre for Belfast and closed when donors became unwilling to come to an area perceived as being badly affected by the bombing campaign.
Below is an image of a larger ceramic TB virus photo shopped on to the Belfast pic.
the devastating effects of TB and my own ceramic interpretation of a single virus.