Hugh Gibbons' references and extra information
hunnybone for July 2015

for pharmaceutical physicians, colleagues and friends

at Work
PPhood for
PPhurther Education:








There’s some good news, and some bad.

In the remote part of Berkshire where I live, Bracknell is getting a massive makeover. It’s like Armageddon with a promise of Primark.

But since March, thousands of people have had something unique and seriously eyecatching to enjoy, a new art and soul for the town centre . And it’s got lessons for you - at work and in family, leisure and social life (assuming you have some).

By the busy mall of Princess Square, St Joseph’s Catholic Church has railings that make a wide balcony. This is now the home of the Bracknell Community Gallery of Greeters & Inspirers. Unlike the National Galleries, it’s outdoors, on view 24/7, with no queues or booking (but NB no caff). Visit

Over 30 portraits are there, hooked on and strapped down against gusts of wind. They were quite an experiment in social psychology. I issued a general invitation for anyone to paint - in acrylics on plywood 600mm x 1000mm - someone who inspired them for whatever reason. All sorts of good sports in schools, families, and elsewhere volunteered – though most had never picked up a paintbrush.

Their array is delightful. Mandela, Malala, and Mahatma Gandhi you’d expect. But there’s also Harry Potter (perhaps edged out by Emma Watson for championing women’s rights), Tim Burton, teacher Ann Maguire, tenor Richard Tauber, conciliator Daniel Barenboim, “Monty”, Van Gogh, a cheery Oscar Romero and Pope Francis, the Fairtrade waving figure…

Healthcare-related Inspirers feature too. Henri Dunant of the Red Cross has one arm of the Red Cross tilted upwards in greeting, while the annual candlelight procession at Solfarino warms his feet. Staff in Medecins Sans Frontieres’ UK office made a mosaic of their palm prints, in solidarity with Ebola survivors in West Africa. Photographer and triple amputee Giles Duley is one of a dancing team called The Unselfies on Tour in Afghanistan, together with the US Army Medics - Charlie, Phil and Cole - who saved his life, plus trauma nurse Lucy Anning of Emergency UK.

My Swiss Army Inspirer is art with its sleeves rolled up. The blades are some of the expressions that help encourage other people in any setting – standard vocab for managers, leaders and good eggs. Well Done! Go For It! Sounds Good. Thanks! Why Not? Yes! You Can! (The good news is that everyone’s got one tucked inside them.)

The passing public like the Gallery for adding a lot of offbeat brightness to Bracknell. More’s on the way, with schools painting panels of flowers and kisses to mark Malala’s 18th birthday (and cover up some wrinkled brickwork.)

So when you’re with family or friends, maybe you might find the back of an envelope or tablet and write down a short list of people you value as an Inspirer or Uplifter, and why. Then get several pages of A4, and catalogue your Uninspirers, and why. Then swap lists. Well done if you’re someone else’s Inspirer.

You’re name is on an Uninspirer list? Like I said at the beginning…

Swiss Army Inspirer

    Swiss Army Inspirer