Art can help us through so much. It can help heal our souls in difficult times and help us ease anxieties or appease distressing times.
There are many hospitals who are utilising the tool of art to help with these situations.
Below are some great art charities, hospitals or organisations combining art and wellbeing.
All year we should thank our NHS and hospital staff for all they do. In these challenging times, we reaffirm our thanks to them and all the NHS volunteers for being on the frontline. It is so heartwarming despite these difficult moments to see so many applying to volunteer and that communities and people are coming together. We are in awe of all!!
For our mental health art can really help us get through difficult times, check out below how art and wellbeing are connecting.
Paintings in Hospitals
Paintings in Hospitals is a national UK Charity that is using art to initiate better wellbeing for patients, carers and communities, by filling walls with art and engaging with patients through activities as well as setting art projects with artists.
The art collection has been going since 1959, when Sheridan Russell, Britain's first male almoner, displayed artworks in waiting rooms and wards. With help from the Nuffield Foundation, Sheridan went on to create the art collection that would become the Paintings in Hospitals collection, the first national collection of art to support people’s physical and mental health. Since then, the collection has grown to include over 3,800 artworks, including art from artists such as Bridget Riley, Antony Gormley, Andy Warhol, Josef Albers, Anish Kapoor and many more.
The gallery is part of the national arts and health charity Paintings in Hospitals and is housed in the historic Menier Chocolate Factory.
It is a space available for exhibitions & events, but is also available to hire with all funds raised supporting Paintings in Hospitals.
The Royal Marsden
The Royal Marsden has an extensive art collection throughout their hopsitals which helps brighten their patient's days. They also have an Art Therapy sector for those who are ill or receiving treatment.
"Peaceful Meditation" by Amalia Vingelli at The Royal Marsden Hospital
Outsider Gallery NHS
Set at Clarendon Recovery College, Outsider Art Gallery is a mental health gallery, exhibiting original works and outcomes from NHS Forensic, CAMHS, HMP, secure units and care setting. The art is created during therapy sessions and then put on display, showcasing the power of art to help with mental health.
"It’s in times like these support and love is needed. Please help us by staying at home. This was painted a few years ago in east London along with others that we have been painting for years across England and Europe simply to show love for our colleagues, solidarity and remind us how precious our national health service is." Outsider Gallery London
Arts Health ECRN
Arts Health ECRN is funded by The British Academy and aims to bring together early career researchers working on projects that connects the arts, humanities with health & medicine. Podcasts are available to listen to, in the area of research, policy and practice.
GOSH Arts is the arts programme at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Exhibitions, art commissions and programmes generate a creative environment. Their work of engaging with visiting artists and displaying art in their buildings, is essential to ease patients’s experience, leading to a less clinical hospital environment, as well as reducing anxiety levels for the hospital staff and visitors.
Arts in Health Forum
Arts in Health Forum is a charity that is working towards making arts and culture reach more people. Their focus is on art being a tool for better health. The charity supports artists and health professionals and promotes engagement between the arts and wellbeing for communities and individuals who may otherwise be unable to access art. Their aim is that the arts contribute towards a healthy society in London and the United Kingdom.
Royal Brompton Hospital London
rb&hArts runs an arts programme at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, to improve patient's wellbeing and experience, as well as the hospital's environment for its visitors and staff. A permanent collection of 1,200 artworks, is managed by the department. They also organise arts programme and workshops.
Picture of artwork taken Royal Brompton Hospital London. This sculpture called Alone is from a project run by the Hospital School during half term break on anti-bullying and to convey our inner feelings. The artwork was created by children who were asked to do something that represents these sentiments. With plaster the children used their bodies to create a person’s body. They made the sculpture genderless to convey the notion that bullying could happen to anyone. On blank sheets the kids wrote words that convey the feeling of bullying or being alone. The words were then pasted onto the body to showcase any inner feelings on the outside.