Mr Masoud Teimory (sixth from left) and Professor Bernard Chang (fourth from right) with Southlands Eye Care consultant ophthalmologists and invited guests
A unique art gallery enjoyed by thousands of eye care patients in Sussex has been officially opened by the President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Professor Bernard Chang.
“Chaos of Creation” is the first exhibition from Sooffee Art Gallery, an initiative borne from the passion and philosophy of ophthalmic surgeon and photographer Mr Masoud Teimory.
“Sooffee aims to showcase the beauty of ‘chaos’ through visual arts and poetry,” said Mr Teimory, “and at the same time provide thought-provoking artworks for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.”
The exhibition is hosted by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust eye care units at Southlands Hospital, in Shoreham-by-Sea, and St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester.
A stunning collection of images are displayed on the walls of the waiting areas and corridors of the departments that welcome and care for more than 100,000 patients every year.
Professor Chang was invited to officially open the integrated Sooffee Art Gallery at Southlands Eye Care on a visit to the purpose-built £7.5 million department, that was formally opened by Duchess of Wessex in May 2018.
The President said: “What Masoud has done here is incredible. Everything about this unit is designed to improve patient care, efficiency, and ultimately patient experience.
“It is a real privilege to have the honour of opening the art gallery and it is great for the Royal College to see what has been achieved here through collaboration – this truly is an inspirational build that other units in the country can follow.”
The Sooffee Art Gallery includes many photographs that Masoud himself has taken, as well as other exhibits from renowned artists, such as photographer and local eye care patient Marilyn Stafford, calligrapher Einodin Sadeghzadeh, oil painter Mona Mohagheghi, and medical photographer Jon Brett.
Professor Chang added: “I love the fact that every picture tells a story. At first glance it may seem chaotic, but it has a form of order within it. The human brain looks for symmetry and it is actually in every picture.”
Telling the story behind each picture and bringing the “Chaos of Creation” exhibition to life for patients is the responsibility of curator Nina Emett, from not-for-profit organisation FotoDocument.
Nina said: “The theme at its simplest is about the eye, how the eye sees, what it sees and what it doesn’t see. How do we interpret the world around us?
“We seek symmetry and that has a harmonising, and calming effect on the brain, and this is what Masoud’s photography achieves.”
The official opening was also a reunion for many of the people involved in the development of Southlands Eye Care, from suppliers and project managers to patient representatives and staff.
Mr Teimory acknowledged and thanked everyone who supported his vision of creating a cutting-edge and innovative new eye care department in West Sussex.
This included the Trust’s former chief executive, Dame Marianne Griffiths, director of capital Robert Cairney and architect Richard Mason, as well as charity partners Love Your Hospital and the Friends of Chichester and Southlands Hospitals.
Dame Marianne said: “This eye unit and gallery is testament to you Masoud, for your vision, persistence and relentless ambition for this to be a state-of-the art facility – you have achieved it, congratulations!” To view the exhibits on display and for more information about the Sooffee Art Gallery, please visit Sooffee.