ART IN HOSPITAL IS A CENTRE FOR BEST PRACTICE IN VISUAL ART AND MEDICINE, PLACING THE ARTIST AND THEIR PRACTICE ALONGSIDE THE PATIENT AND THEIR CONTEXT AT THE CORE OF OUR CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ART PROGRAMME
Top: Joginder Panesar, Untitled (detail), Ink and pastel on paper, 1994. Mearnskirk Hospital Photo: Marilyn Muirhead
Above: Alice Shambrook, Untitled (detail), Mixed media on coloured paper, 2013. Mansionhouse Unit | Rediscovered As Part Of the Digital Archive Pilot
What we do
At its core, Art in Hospital delivers an ongoing visual arts programme for patients in the healthcare areas of Medicine for Older People, Stroke Rehabilitation, Acute Rehabilitation, Palliative Care and Community and Mental Health across the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde region of Scotland.
The organisation provides a permanent presence in hospitals and care homes, which brings the visual arts into the context of health and medicine. We respond to each particular health context through an integrated approach with nursing, clinical and care staff. We make the patient and artist central to the programme, with each artist working to facilitate patients in articulating their personal creative expression.
Alongside the core programme, Art in Hospital undertakes residencies, collaborations and strategic partnerships in wider initiatives, generating opportunities to develop work in new art and healthcare contexts.
An exhibitions programme presents the work to a wider community both within and outside healthcare settings; from exhibitions in galleries in the city to site-specific works in care homes, to presentations in the Scottish Parliament.
In 2019/20 Art in Hospital had a patient attendance of 7,984, a patient social contact of 4,586, to 1,248 art sessions, delivered by 16 artists across 8 different health settings within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Left: Alastair McGregor, Work in Progress: Drawing inspiration from Hunterian Gallery & Museum, 2012. Greenfield Park Care Home
Middle: Work in Progress: Cyanotypes. Workshop facilities at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, 2010
Right: Margaret Conway, Geisha, Mixed Media on Paper, Exhibition and Reception for Art in Hospital, Scottish Parliament, 2013 Photo: Denise Noone
Facilitating Art Practice in a Healthcare Context
From the outset, Art in Hospital has recognised the importance of establishing creative spaces within the healthcare settings in which we work. With space at a premium within these contexts, a flexible, integrated approach has been adopted, which is always led by patient need.
Our Creative Spaces take different forms, responding to both the requirements and restrictions at hand, with the Artists becoming resourceful facilitators. This might involve adapting an overbed trolley with lights, easel and materials or modification of communal or outdoor spaces. Some are necessarily a temporary or recurring arrangement. Alongside these, in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow Life, The University of Glasgow and Care Home providers, we have worked to establish dedicated art spaces in half of the care homes and hospitals where we deliver our Core Visual Arts Programme.
These vibrant and engaging spaces have demonstrated the transformational power of the visual arts to change clinical spaces for both patients and staff, providing continuity and a visible presence for the programme. The Artists foster environments that support the facilitation of individual creative expression, taking into account the need to support social functions, alongside individual focus. The spaces continue to evolve.
Creative Places: The City
People in hospitals and care homes are part of the social and urban culture of a city, and our programme seeks to develop closer links with the creative spaces the city has to offer through visits to museums, galleries and other initiatives. Our patients are active participants, drawing inspiration as well as contributing to exhibitions, cultural programmes and festivals in Glasgow and Scotland.
Top Left: Work in Progress; Temporary Art Space, the garden within Ward 52, Langlands building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Summer 2017
Top Right: Day Room with view of the Art Space, Greenfield Park Care Home, 2007 Photo: Carl Cordonnier
Above Right: Work in Progress: Drawing, Mixed media on paper, Greenfield Park Care Home, 2018. These images show the Art in Hospital core programme, funded through NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Above Left: Work in Progress, Mixed media on paper, Arcadia Gardens. Part of the Art in Hospital programme An Imaginary Line from Here to There; a Creative Scotland First in a Lifetime opportunity, 2013
"Helen Scott’s wonderful ‘take over’ of the walls in the new gallery space at Greenfield Park is an extraordinary expression of the joy Helen found in painting for the first time in her 89th year. When the Artists suggested tea breaks or short rests, she declined almost apologetically, telling them she had to get back to her painting, she had 88 years to catch up on"
Above Left: Helen Scott, Untitled, Gallery Space installation, Greenfield Park Care Home, 2013 Above Right: Sadie Stirling, Installation with Woven Thread, Greenfield Park Care Home, 2013
Above text: Penny Rae, Excerpt from exhibition publication, An Imaginary Line from Here to There, 2013
All works from the Art in Hospital programme An Imaginary Line from Here to There. A First in a Lifetime opportunity, Creative Scotland Photographs: Carl Cordonnier
Examining Art Practice in a Healthcare Context
Building on early work contributing to the emerging cross-disciplinary field of ‘arts as medicine’, Art in Hospital saw the value of developing a space within a Hospital context, which could form a hub for debate, critical thinking and experimentation. This ‘Creative Space’ would provide an interface between the two fundamental disciplines of Art and Medicine. Working with our cluster of partners, in 2011 Art in Hospital had the opportunity to put this into practice, within a former operating theatre space at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary. When the hospital closed in 2015, this work moved to the New Lister building, part of Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and continues to develop.
The Creative Space has provided a crucial platform for Art in Hospital to examine practice within a wider community. A programme of activity to facilitate this goal has included a seminar series with a national and international focus on innovative work in the area of Art and
Medicine, inviting artists, academics and organisations to engage in a series of conversations, which encourage the exchange of ideas and highlight exciting, imaginative work. This included an artist professional development programme looking at the documentation and process of artistic practice within this distinct area. A Studio Programme was developed for staff at the Western Infirmary.
Within this interdisciplinary context, a Special Study Component, I Will Remember There is Art to Medicine as Well as Science, was developed for Glasgow University School of Medicine, Veterinary & Life Sciences. This provides an integrated visual arts programme for second and third year medical students, where practising artists, doctors and academics work with students intensively over a five week block to explore the role of arts in medicine and its wider implications.
Left: Showing Art in Hospital Summer Seminar Series I Will Remember There Is Art To Medicine As Well As Science, June 2011
Right: Third Year Medical Student participant, Part of Cast From Nature Residency with Artist Christine Borland, 2011
Both projects took place within the Art in Hospital Creative Space, Western Infirmary, Glasgow
Lisa & Kathleen, Untitled (detail), Collage, 2016. Part of Art in Unexpected Places; a year long Art in Hospital residency in Women’s Health
A partnership between Art in Hospital and the Pregnancy and Early Years Service, Addaction, Glasgow. Funded through the Public Engagement programme, Creative Scotland
The resulting exhibition Traces, was shown at GOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, July 2016
The work of Art in Hospital is founded upon long term active partnerships. Our role is very much an integrated one, with partners variously supporting the direction, development, delivery and evaluation of our programme, underlining our shared values.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde plays a critical role in funding our core visual art programme for patients across Glasgow. This includes support for eight dedicated art spaces in the hospitals and care homes. Together with Glasgow Life and the University of Glasgow, an integrated and multilevel partnership model forms the foundation for our work.
Ongoing relationships with Care Home Companies provide an important perspective to the core programme development. For example, HC One has created a dedicated Gallery Space and Art Room in Greenfield Park Care Home.
Art in Hospital works closely with a range of medical, cultural and community organisations at a local and national level. In particular, we have participated in a number of initiatives and projects through Creative Scotland. Examples of some of these innovative projects can be seen throughout this website.
We continue to contribute to ongoing research, engagement and Arts and Health initiatives such as the Culture Strategy for Scotland, towards building stronger links between cultural and health sectors with the Scottish Government.
Established international partnerships with artists and arts organisations deepen artistic and creative practice through dialogue, exchange and collaboration
Funders of our core visual arts programme
Who we are
Art in Hospital is an artist-led organisation, which places the role of the Artist and artistic practice, in a health, medical and social context, at the centre of our work. The commitment and integrity of our Artists is fundamental to the meaningful experience of each patient. We currently have 16 Artists working across the different healthcare settings, from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, bringing diversity to the programme.
Art in Hospital staff are very much part of the care team and dedicated to encouraging each resident to reach their artistic potential - every care home in Scotland should have the opportunity to work with them!
Robert Murray, Manager, Greenfield Park Care Home
We refer to our practice as person-centred, which relates to the individual patient focus of the work. However, this term could also be extended to describe Art in Hospital itself. Whether Artist, patient, care staff, clinician, partner, board member or funder, each has a distinct and important role in the organisation.
In 2006 we attempted to capture a range of stories and experiences from individuals who are involved in the different strands of Art in Hospital activity. This formed our Positioning Document, which examines our practice from these different perspectives. Writer and Producer Penny Rae was commissioned to write this research document, with photographs by Carl Cordonnier. An online version of the publication is available here.
Left: Artist Anne Bjern Hansen working with Mattie Spencer, Blawarthill Hospital 2007 Photo: Carl Cordonnier
Middle: Margaret Connelly with Artist Maria Doyle Right: Artist Anna Sheard With Cathy Brown. Both show Study Visits from Southern General Hospital to the Kibble Palace, 2011
Part of The Hospital & The Community Programme funded by Glasgow Life, and exhibition Dark Leaves Roots - Dark Brown an exhibition of photographic prints, Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens, May 2013
Above: Art in Hospital Positioning Document, I'll be Doing this Sky in My Dreams Tonight 2006 Left: Hard copy, Right: Digital version
Above text: Excerpt from Art in Hospital Positioning Document, I'll be Doing this Sky in My Dreams Tonight, 2006