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Tuck Goh


Tuck Goh


148 pages
280 x 210 mm
ISBN 9781739601607


“One of the first photographs to be taken was of the empty waiting room of the Emergency Department where I work. This was of course highly unusual for a department that had an attendance of 108,000 patients the year before. It was mid-March 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Ireland It was an anxious moment for those of us working at the front line. Was this the calm before the storm? Would our corridors soon be overwhelmed by very ill patients?

These patients did arrive but fortunately not en masse. But working life changed for all of us.

PPE was the in-word. We changed daily into scrubs in newly installed Portacabins. Mobile phones were put into sealed plastic bags. We came home to go straight into showers. The public clapped on Thursdays. We drove by walls and boards displaying messages of support and gratitude for the NHS. Some of us even chose to live separately to isolate ourselves to protect our loved ones The images in this photobook are reflective snapshots of the experience for staff and patients in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust during the pandemic. Some highlight compassion and care, some show happiness and joy, a few display anxiety and isolation, but most show staff going about their daily tasks with focus and dedication in the way they know best.

For all of us, the pandemic has transformed the way we work and the way we delivered essential services. We had to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in the light of new challenges. There will be many memories and stories to relate of individual and collective experiences during this unusual period for the National Health Service. The images in this book are some of them.” – Tuck Goh, Associate Specialist, Emergency Department, Ulster Hospital, Dundonald.

About the Artist
Tuck Goh is a Malaysian artist and doctor based in Belfast. He graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in Medicine in 1985. He left medicine for several years to work in commercial photography. On returning to medicine, he continued to photograph, specialising mainly in weddings and portraiture. Of late, he has been passionate about street photography. Like medicine, street photography involves being interested in people. It requires attention to small details, little gestures and predicting human behaviour in order to help capture the ‘decisive moment’. In Sept 2022, he published ‘TOGETHER’. This photobook documents the effect of Covid-19 on staff and patients in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. Images from this series are held in the Ulster Museum collection.