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

Artist takes a trip down 'Memory Lane'

A LONDON artist has been commissioned to design a 'Memory Lane' for dementia patients treated by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust. Matilda Moreton will use historical imagery and household items to help trigger memory in patients with the condition. She said: "I am looking forward to getting to know the city better while exploring archives in its museums and societies, as well as by travelling around the area and hearing the stories of local people. I find the blend of old and new intriguing, especially at the cathedral, which I find very inspiring. I hope to incorporate some of its magnificent glasswork and artefacts into my design. I hope to produce an artwork which will uplift and sustain hospital users for years to come." For the facility, she will design sets of ceramic tiles incorporating photographs and images of the area, significant life events, world events and figures all designed to trigger memory in patients with dementia. It is planned the lane will comprise of images from 1911 onwards of Coventry, Warwickshire, Ireland, the Asian Sub Continent, the Caribbean, Poland, household items from the past 100 years, and images of people carrying out various occupations.

BSkyB staff spruce up hospital garden

A SPLASH of colour has been brought to West Middlesex University Hospital's courtyard garden, thanks to staff from a local firm. Working with experts from charity, Art in the Park, volunteers from satellite TV giant, BSkyB, enhanced the area with a number of new installations and improvements. Bill Hudson from Art in the Park said: "We took along some planters so they could be constructed. The team also worked on a collection of colourful mosaics. They did very well considering they're not art professionals." Charlie Wagner from BSkyB added: " We are all delighted to be able to help. Not only is it a fun thing to do, it is also making things look a little bit more attractive for everyone. As a plus, it's also great for team bonding."

Sculpture remembers Royal Free employee

A LASTING tribute to a much-loved former member of staff at the Royal Free Hospital has been unveiled near the main entrance. Doo Wah Diddy, a sculpture by Helen Sinclair, was chosen as a lasting memorial to Joan Roberts, who worked for the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust for 19 years. The 1.8m bronze creation, inspired by the classic Manfred Mann song, was chosen by colleagues and bought with money left to the Royal Free Charity in Joan's will. It was officially unveiled by local TV personality, Bill Oddie. Tony Ewart, head of performance at the hospital, worked with Joan for many years and said: "I asked colleagues for some words that summed Joan up. Hardworking, kind, loyal and caring were all words that sprang to people's minds. One colleague who knew her very well said bold, free and fun-loving, and that's exactly what this sculpture conveys."

Seaside inspires sensory garden

SCARBOROUGH'S seaside heritage and the golden age of travelling to the coast by train have inspired a new sensory garden in the grounds of the Maple Ward at Scarborough Hospital. The project was made possible through a £6,600 Lottery grant given to the Hospital Arts for North East Yorkshire group. Jo Davis, arts co-ordinator, said: "The garden aims to mimic a journey by train, with features that represent the start of the journey in the city, the repetitively rhythmic motion of the train journey ,and the beach and seafront at the final destination. It also features old railway posters and a long bench mimicking the infamous bench at Scarborough's Railway Station. The garden provides a calming diversion from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of the hospital ward, benefitting both patients and staff." The garden was designed and landscaped by Scarborough-based family firm, Costello Landscaping. All plants and materials used have been sourced from within a 20-mile radius of the town. Designer, Ian Costello, said: "Gardens can play an important role in the recovery of patients through the provision of spaces that are uplifting and engaging. We have tried to deliver such a garden through the realisation of a concept that also plays upon Scarborough's heritage as a healthy seaside town stemming from the Victorian era."

Suffolk artist donates painting

A SUFFOLK artist has donated an original piece of artwork to a charity dedicated to brightening the lives of hospital patients, visitors and staff. German-born Claudia Boese has donated a large oil painting entitled The leafage of years is brown to the Paintings in Hospitals (East) charity for display at West Suffolk Hospital. She said: "Since moving to Suffolk, the county has been both a source of inspiration for my work and a place where I have made a happy and successful life. I feel the county has been very kind to me and I therefore decided to donate one of my large paintings to the charity." Paintings in Hospitals (East) uses artwork to enhance healthcare surroundings for patients, staff and visitors. Jan Bloomfield, executive director of workforce and communications at the hospital, said: "The works of art really help to brighten the corridors, in turn improving the environment for everyone using the hospital."

Artwork recognises effort of nurses

A WORK of art commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Victoria Infirmary's nurses' league has finally been unveiled. The wall hanging provides a visual distraction in the atrium of the New Victoria Wing at the hospital in Newcastle. Measuring 3m wide by 1m high, the work was created by award-winning embroiderer, Patricia Winskell, who used silk fabrics and silk paints to create the illusion of texture and perspective. The artwork marked the anniversary of the nurses' league, which was formed in 1959 and now has more than 300 members. Helen Lamont, director of nursing at Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are very grateful to the nurses' league for commissioning the mural, which stands out in the ultra-modern environment of the new hospital as a symbol of our long-established approach to providing the best possible healthcare to patients."

Exhibition charts revamp of Walsall hospital

TO MARK the completion of the redevelopment of Walsall Manor Hospital, an art exhibition is to be held charting the transition from old to new. Over recent months the changing face of the hospital has been recorded by documentation photographer, Gemma Thorpe. The results are now being showcased in an exhibition entitled Transition, showing at The New Art Gallery in Walsall. Thorpe began capturing the changes last year and her work includes staff and patients in the old hospital buildings through to their first moments in the new facilities. Kerry Hodgkiss, arts co-ordinator at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "The work Gemma has produced is absolutely fantastic. It really documents what life is like for our patients and staff and evokes all sorts of feelings and emotions linked to the old buildings and, of course, the excitement linked to the opening of our new hospital redevelopment."

Jazz concerts to be held at Birmingham hospital

JAZZ quintet from the Birmingham Conservatoire will be staging the last in a series of mini concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham later this month. The performances are part of a partnership with Birmingham City University, where the Conservatoire is based, to support University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust's art programme. The last of the three performances will be in the Atrium on 24 June. The concerts will then break for the summer before returning in the autumn.

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