Hospital arts: News round-up


As the link between the arts and wellbeing is increasingly recognised in the health service, BBH continues with its regular round-up of some of the projects happening across the UK. If your hospital or consultancy is currently involved with a project, please let us know

Classmates donate paintings to cancer unit

PUPILS from Manchester Grammar School visited The Christie cancer centre this week to see the artwork they have produced in memory of a former pupil. The 15-year-olds came up with three designs which are displayed in the teenage cancer unit where fellow pupil, Robert Broude, was treated before his death in 2004. The prints produced for the unit all have a North West theme based on music and sport and have been inspired by famous artist, Andy Warhol. Celebrity faces in the designs include Gary Barlow, Amir Khan, Tony Wilson and the Gallagher brothers. Viewing the artwork, Robert\'s mother, Helena, said: “I asked the schools art department if they would produce some artwork to brighten up the day unit, which is named after Roy, and I\'m incredibly proud of what\'s been created. The paintings look fantastic and the pupils have incorporated some of Roberts favourite things such as Liverpool Football Club. I know Robert would be impressed by what they have achieved.” Lindsay Ratapana, matron of the teenage cancer unit, added: “Finding out you have cancer is difficult for anyone at any age, but it\'s particularly hard when you\'re a teenager. The environment our patients are being treated in is therefore so important in helping them to relax and feel at home.”

Staff show off their arty side

BUDDING artists and photographers among staff at the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) in Guernsey are showing off their talents with an exhibition in the gallery at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. The show will run until the end of March and features paintings, prints, photographs and encaustic art. HSSD arts co-ordinator, Nancy Strike, said: “The link between the arts and the wellbeing of hospital patients and visitors is increasingly being recognised, with the exhibitions at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital being an integral part of our arts initiative and an important contributor to creating an atmosphere conducive to healing within the hospital. It is all the more significant that members of staff are contributing to the healing environment through their art. It is simply a great pleasure to see what talents our staff possess and what creative energies are at work in their leisure time.” The exhibition is open during hospital visiting hours.

An insight into the lives of illustrators

AN ART exhibition has opened at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. The Art of the Illustrator provides a glimpse of the world of illustrators including Jenny Barron, Paul Blow, Leo Davey, Lucy Hobbs, Sheila Mannes-Abbot, Lorna Siviter and Emily Twomey, and is showing until 20 March. Geoffrey Bertram, curator of Art for Life, which organised the event, said: “Illustrations are created for mass publication. Whether they accompany text, or are used on their own, they are usually eye catching through being quirky and often bold in colour. As with all artists, the illustrator’s individuality and personal vision is expressed through their working style, as well as in choice of medium. Some draw and paint using traditional materials, while others work solely on computer; and some use both.”

Snappers show their wares

EYE-CATCHING images taken by a keen group of amateur photographers are brightening up the corridors for patients, staff and visitors at West Suffolk Hospital. Taken by members of the Bury St Edmunds Photographic Society, the images have been mounted in two large frames in the first-floor corridor. The society plans to rotate the pictures regularly so that work by as many of the group’s members as possible can be displayed. Jo Sweetman, chairman of the society, said: “We have some amazing photographers in the society, but not many people get to see their work any more because everything is now digital and saved onto computers. I thought this partnership with the hospital would help us redress that by giving us the perfect opportunity to display some of the images while brightening up West Suffolk’s corridors.” Julie Pettitt, estates and facilities business manager at the hospital, added: “As well as helping the society share its work with a wider audience, it is also keeping the hospital environment bright and welcoming for patients, visitors and staff.”

Consultation sets scene for new hospital

MEMBERS of the public and staff at Tameside Hospital were recently invited to give their opinions about the artwork that will be displayed in the new hospital building. Around 35 people attended an arts consultation event where a selection of images from other hospital projects were displayed. They were then asked to choose the sort of thing they would like to see in the new hospital building when it opens later this year. Already a mosaic has been specially commissioned to represent the 10 townships of Tameside and Glossop. It will be placed in a garden of contemplation, construction of which is due to begin later this month. Gillian Parker, project director, said: “It is very important that we involve as many local people as possible in the selection of the artwork. The new building is intended for local people and should reflect the themes that are meaningful to them.” Ideas suggested included reproductions of popular artists’ work, and poetry readings in the new reception area.

Sculpture marks heart centre appeal

A NEW sculpture has been unveiled symbolising the £4m fundraising appeal for a new cardiovascular research centre at Leicesters Glenfield Hospital. The heart-shaped installation by an internationally-acclaimed artist, who asked to remain anonymous, has been presented to the University of Leicester, after it displayed the piece as part of a summer show. Consultant cardiologist, Professor Nilesh Samani, head of the university’s department of cardiovascular sciences, said: “We are all delighted that such generosity on the part of the donor has enabled the university to acquire this sculpture, which will eventually adorn the new cardiovascular research centre. The centre will undertake leading research in heart disease and further Leicester’s reputation as a centre of excellence in cardiovascular research.”

Pregnant women hit the right note

CHELSEA and Westminster Hospital has launched a singing project for pregnant women. Organised by the Hospital Arts group, the Womb Song sessions will run every Monday evening until July. A spokeswoman said: “Singing can provide emotional, social, educational and physical benefits for woman and their babies during pregnancy, labour and after birth, and the workshops are a fun and relaxed environment where everyone can get to know one another. It is an informal group and activities include postural, breathing and vocal exercises, as well as singing songs that are easily learnable.”

Awards recognise public sculptures

NOMINATIONS are being sought for awards that recognise excellence in the design of public artworks. The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture is awarded annually for a newly-commissioned public sculpture or public sculpture restoration project. Aimed at promoting awareness and dialogue about the role of sculpture in public spaces, the deadline for nominations is 30 April and the prize will be awarded in November.

Photographers invited to make their mark

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BUDDING photographers are being urged to contribute their work to a mosaic image of the countrys largest teaching hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The New Horizons project, funded by the Arts Council and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, is run by local photographer and artist, Anand Chhabra. Photographers can visit the project website to see the picture of the iconic QEHB building during its construction, which will be used as the basis of the mosaic. Visitors can then choose which area of that image they would like their own image to fill. The photographs can be of Birmingham landscapes, scenes of Birmingham from a bygone era and Birmingham residents. Chhabra is also keen for staff at the hospital to contribute.