As part of the development of two new mental health facilities at Springfield University Hospital (above), 20 major artworks have been commissioned to transform how the hospital wards are experienced by patients and service users.
Set for completion in late 2022, the new Trinity and Shaftesbury buildings will sit at the centre of a new 'Springfield Village' community.
Between January and June 2022, Hospital Rooms artists will lead more than 80 art workshops with patients and staff, which will go on to inform the artworks that are created for the new facilities. The project will forge a new path for mental health services, transforming how a mental health hospital can look and feel and making access to creative participation central to the culture of care at the Trust. As part of the co-production process, artists will lead numerous imaginative and adventurous art workshops at Springfield Hospital, which are generously supported by art materials manufacturer Colart and Winsor and Newton. The programme will engage a wide spectrum of the community in a meaningful collaborative experience and ensure the new environments have an affinity with the people who encounter them.
Sign up for the first free series of workshops
Hospital Rooms will be hosting a special set of workshops in collaboration with the The Courtauld Gallery on Tuesday afternoons at their new Learning Centre in Somerset House in central London. These will be happening from 2-4pm on the 18th, and 25th of January and the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd of February 2022.
The workshops are free and aimed at anyone who has used mental health services, their friends, families and carers. No arts experience is necessary, and all materials and refreshments will be provided.
The four artists hosting these have taken inspiration from the gallery’s permanent collection and will lead sessions that will go on to inform the artwork they create for Springfield Hospital.
All workshops at The Courtauld will be supported by a BSL interpreter and a second series will be announced in January 2022. Hospital Rooms will be taking a rigorous approach to Covid asking participants to take a lateral flow test prior to attending, wearing masks, ensuring social distancing and avoiding sharing materials.
Laying the groundwork
Hospital Rooms has undertaken eight months of research and development in preparation for this project which has included leading art workshops with inpatients (Deaf, Eating Disorders, Acute, PICU and Forensics), a summer art school for Recovery College students,and a virtual creative day for service user representatives, family and carers.
The charity has also delivered 20 weekly Digital Art School sessions to further embed its relationship with the community at Springfield and gain feedback on the types of experiences that people are responding to best. Over 25 interviews with former inpatients and a comprehensive evidence review have been conducted by a member of the Hospital Rooms team who has experience of being sectioned. This work has informed the selection of artists, the identification of high impact spaces for artworks, the artist training programme and the plan for patient experience.
Partnering for change
Hospital Rooms are partnering with local cultural organisations such as National Opera Studio and Action Space to share knowledge of working in these settings and cultivate longer term programming, offering training to occupational staff in leading creative sessions and equipping new activity rooms with quality art materials with the support of Colart.
As a result of this project, participants will have their creative talent sparked and be immersed in accessible, and appealing cultural opportunities all around them. The artwork and new opportunities for expression hopes to give people a voice and sense of dignity at what can be a distressing time.
Through collaboration with the clinical teams at South West London and St. George’s, researchers at Norwich University of the Arts, the World Health Organisation, Wandsworth Council and local cultural partners, Hospital Rooms aspire to evidence the positive impact of arts intervention projects in mental health hospitals at local, national and international level and influence strategic and wide-reaching change. The project is supported by a wide variety of partners.
Hospital room thanks: Arts Council England, Baring Foundation, WHO Artist Response Fund, Anthropologie, Hauser & Wirth, South West London and St George’s NHS Trust Charitable Fund, Courtauld, Norwich University of the Arts, CF Moller, Colart, Winsor & Newton, Graphenstone, Wandsworth Council, National Opera Studio, Matt’s Gallery and Action Space.