Hospital Art Studio changes its approach during COVID-19 pandemic

As face-to-face arts in health programmes are put on hold, more-novel ways of supporting staff and patients are developing

The Caring Rainbow Tree was developed early in the pandemic and given to Airedale General Hospital as part of a competition to brighten up staff rest areas

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted greatly on the delivery of art in health projects at health and care facilities across the country.

But, adjusting to a new way of working, arts consultants are helping to maintain services, with a new series of offerings.

Hospital Art Studio, for example, created a wall artwork – The Caring Rainbow Tree – to show its support and gratitude to all those in the NHS who have worked tirelessly since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic last year.

The tree is inspired by the rainbow art created throughout the pandemic and the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees of the Philippines.

Inside each leaf is a hand representing the care given and the support received.

Initially Hospital Art Studio hosted a competition for one hospital trust to win the artwork.

Airedale General Hospital in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was chosen as the winner and its estates department will be fitting the artwork to a wall inside the main reception seating area, a place used by staff to escape for a short break and to recharge.

And, now that the competition has ended, Hospital Art Studio is offering versions of this artwork uniquely personalised for other hospitals.

It is clear that hospitals are desperately trying to provide places of sanctuary, with calming environments and art, to improve wellbeing and thereby relieve the pressures on staff in these difficult times

The artwork will be created on an aluminium composite with stand-off fixings and included in the purchase will be copies of personalised artwork as posters for staff restrooms.

A spokesman at Hospital Art Studio said: “Over the last year this daily fight that is COVID-19 has placed huge amounts of stress on our frontline clinical care teams.

“It is clear that hospitals are desperately trying to provide places of sanctuary, with calming environments and art, to improve wellbeing and thereby relieve the pressures on staff in these difficult times.”

During lockdown the studio also collated its many different forms of hospital art into books.

There are now three in total which can be viewed online.

They cover organ donation artworks, art design and wayfinding solutions for hospitals, and landmark art and sculpture.

The team has put together three books showcasing its artwork, which are accessible online

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