This document is about validating the importance of creative expression of people who are living within a hospital context. It is based on the assumption that art is about values, beliefs, identity, expression and communication and as such should be a fundamental right of every individual, regardless of whether they are in hospital or not.

This document is about validating the importance of creative expression of people who are living within a hospital context. It is based on the assumption that art is about values, beliefs, identity, expression and communication and as such should be a fundamental right of every individual, regardless of whether they are in hospital or not.


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“I’ll be doing this sky in my dreams tonight”<br />

Art in Hospital

Published by Art in Hospital, 2006<br />

Printed in an edition of 3000 by Summerhall Press, Edinburgh<br />

ISBN ?<br />

Text © 2006, Penny Rae<br />

Images © 2006, The Artists<br />

All photography © 2006, Carl Cordonnier except where indicated<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any<br />

form or by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical, including<br />

photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval<br />

systems – without the prior written permission from the publishers.<br />

Design: Frozen River

Contents<br />

Positioning Statement Penny Rae 6<br />

Foreword Sir Kenneth Calman 10<br />

Conversations 16

Art in Hospital<br />

A POSITION<strong>IN</strong>G STATEMENT<br />

6<br />

This document is about validating the<br />

importance of creative expression of<br />

people who are living within a hospital<br />

context. It is based on the assumption<br />

that art is about values, beliefs, identity,<br />

expression and communication and<br />

as such should be a fundamental right<br />

of every individual, irregardless of<br />

whether they are in hospital or not.

The first question we asked<br />

ourselves in this study of the<br />

work of Art in Hospital was<br />

how to approach it. What<br />

attitude, state of mind, was<br />

needed in order for the<br />

project’s emotional and artistic<br />

substance to reveal itself? In<br />

the end, the research process<br />

we used was not based on<br />

scientifically proven data, if<br />

such is necessary to make<br />

a convincing case, but on a<br />

process of rational deduction<br />

from individual perspectives,<br />

representing them through<br />

their own words and images.<br />

As we entered into the world<br />

of Art in Hospital, the rules of<br />

interaction between the artists<br />

and participants sometimes<br />

seemed so fluid that they<br />

could only be determined by<br />

the dynamics of each individual<br />

situation. However, what was<br />

clear was that no evaluation<br />

of hospital-based art practice<br />

could be made without some<br />

understanding of context. Art in<br />

healthcare practice is shaped by<br />

a particular place and particular<br />

conditions and a particular<br />

artistic and political moment.<br />

It is designed to respond to<br />

very particular situations.<br />

Unless these situations are<br />

experienced to some degree, is<br />

it very hard for any evaluation<br />

to be responsible or just?<br />

Art in Hospital raises as many<br />

questions as it answers. It is<br />

driven by a belief in people<br />

and a faith in the ability of<br />

art to deal with social crisis.<br />

This document aims simply to<br />

illustrate the extraordinary<br />

journey Art in Hospital is making<br />

for everyone involved in some<br />

way with the organisation;<br />

from health care professionals<br />

to funders, and in particular<br />

for the artists and clients.<br />

We hope it will inspire the<br />

confidence in policy makers<br />

to make a more sustained<br />

and confident commitment<br />

to this kind of partnership.<br />

Penny Rae author<br />

Carl Cordonnier photographer<br />

October 2006<br />




Foreword<br />

by Professor<br />

Sir Kenneth Calman<br />

10<br />

PATRON OF ART <strong>IN</strong> HOSPITAL<br />


My interest in the arts originated from a love<br />

of literature. During the mid 1980s, I ran an<br />

ethics course for medical students using poems,<br />

plays, texts and the purpose of this was to<br />

help medical students view the world from the<br />

perspective of the artist, and not just the medical<br />

academic. It was an interesting time for me as<br />

we saw these bright medical students begin<br />

to approach their course work with a broader<br />

and more person-orientated approach which<br />

would hopefully make them better doctors.<br />

their being involved in arts and their quality of<br />

life during this time is higher. Medicine is based<br />

on science and the quest for new knowledge. The<br />

arts and humanities however are an important<br />

part of this and may seem to have got lost along<br />

the way. There is now considerable interest in<br />

re-introducing them into the medical curriculum<br />

but not at the expense of medical knowledge. The<br />

medical student needs to know where the heart<br />

is but he also needs to know about emotional<br />

interaction and effective communication.<br />

There were two main questions which were<br />

in my mind. The first was do the arts and the<br />

humanities influence medical professionals, and<br />

secondly do the arts help people with physical<br />

and mental illnesses recover more effectively?<br />

There is scientific evidence for both of these<br />

which is slowly building up. The broader your<br />

outlook on life and the more interesting you<br />

are as a person does allow you to see people<br />

in a different way. In addition, I have seen the<br />

growth and self confidence in patients through<br />

When we founded the Centre for Arts and<br />

Humanities in Health and Medicine we wanted<br />

to try to bring the two worlds together. Simple<br />

things like the environment in the doctors surgery<br />

and looking at the evidence that people felt<br />

better in the waiting room looking out at a garden<br />

rather than brick walls. It seems so obvious yet<br />

how many waiting rooms are dreary and dismal<br />

places. So it’s not just those who are health<br />

professionals who need to think differently, it’s<br />

architects, planners and many others. There<br />

is a chance with new hospital buildings to look<br />


12<br />

holistically at the treatment of patients and to<br />

use architecture and design to endorse a holistic<br />

approach to treatment. Design has also to be<br />

about creating a vibrant community whether that<br />

is for a hospital or any other kind of institution.<br />

The arts seem to engender a sense of community.<br />

For me the Angel of the North is a particularly<br />

strong symbol of the nurturing positive<br />

community spirit. It has transformed peoples’<br />

sense of pride in Gateshead, which is now<br />

associated with the home of the angel. When<br />

we think about quality of life the qualities are<br />

those which make people happy and from all my<br />

anecdotal and personal experience, engagement<br />

as a participant or as a spectator in the arts,<br />

these activities help to improve quality of life and<br />

perhaps even more appropriately when people<br />

are unwell. To influence the acceptance of arts<br />

in healthcare has to come from people who are<br />

really in a position to change attitudes and policy.<br />

When I was the Government’s Chief Medical<br />

Officer and people knew that I was interest in<br />

the arts I like to think that it did allow people to<br />

think differently. People in influential positions<br />

must always recognise the importance of their<br />

voice. By endorsing the movement you give<br />

people permission to move ahead. I have always<br />

advocated the use of arts in the teaching of ethics<br />

to doctors. While I believe that science remains<br />

absolutely critical to medical teaching I also<br />

believe that the arts are fundamentally necessary<br />

to improve quality of life and the development<br />

of a fully rounded person. Relationships between<br />

those who fund the arts and those who fund<br />

hospitals are essential. I suspect that more<br />

partnerships need to take place and people<br />

must be encouraged to think outside their own<br />

professional box and learn from people with<br />

different professional backgrounds. A louder<br />

voice should be coming from those working<br />

within the arts and healthcare. Organisations<br />

like Art in Hospital have huge amounts of<br />

‘evidence’ that their work is valuable. Dedicated<br />

arts spaces in hospital are desirable. There is<br />

a strong enough body of evidence now to endorse<br />

the fact that an artist’s role can be critical in<br />

the overall care of patients. Arts specialists

are often still excluded from decisions about<br />

patient care. I hope it will not be long before they<br />

are seen to be part of the patient care team.<br />

Exposure to the arts and a measure of peoples’<br />

reaction to involvement in the arts is thus very<br />

important. Humour as a component of this also<br />

makes people feel better. Story telling, and<br />

art in itself, may never relieve the symptoms<br />

but feeling valued, and being part of the<br />

story can go a long way towards recovery.<br />

leads to creativity both for patients and for the<br />

artist’s own work. I think many artists would<br />

say their own work has developed positively<br />

through their work with people in hospitals.<br />

We should not try to limit the development of<br />

arts and healthcare but see it as an opportunity<br />

for improving the quality of life for all concerned.<br />

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, April 2006<br />

I sometimes use the analogy of the bucket. A<br />

bucket filled with love, care, compassion or<br />

whatever you wish to call it. The general idea is<br />

that patients take out of the bucket and doctors<br />

and other health professionals fill it. This is a<br />

false model. There is always some love, care and<br />

compassion and even humour in the bucket that<br />

patients put in and doctors take out. It is I think<br />

the same with artists who work in hospital, they<br />

put their skills and vision and training into the<br />

bucket but they receive a remarkable amount<br />

back in return and it is that partnership which<br />




16<br />

Barbara<br />

McEwan<br />

Gulliver<br />


I started working as an Artist in a hospital in<br />

1989. At that time, artists working in hospitals<br />

were completely isolated and there was<br />

little or no recognition from either the arts<br />

funding bodies or the health boards of the<br />

value of this kind of work, whether it was in<br />

visual arts, theatre, dance or music. I found<br />

an inspired hospital manager who worked<br />

with me on putting together a proposal for<br />

a pilot programme of visual art work and we<br />

established our first art room at Belvidere<br />

hospital in Glasgow. With The Glasgow School<br />

of Art we established a student placement<br />

scheme and Art in Hospital was born.<br />

Our first exhibition was in an empty ward in<br />

December 1991. It was the result of the work of<br />

the previous year. Disused hospital wards make<br />

brilliant gallery spaces. We received funding for<br />

a second year of activity and in 1993 we were<br />

able to employ two part time artists, who were<br />

recent graduates of The Glasgow School of Art.<br />

We had our first public exhibition in 1994 ‘From<br />

a staircase to a banister to the colours in the sky.’<br />

After we were successful in receiving funding<br />

from the health board, the project was expanded<br />

to two more hospitals. I wanted to develop an<br />

artistic practice that reflected my own values<br />

and priorities which are about a belief in the<br />

empowerment of the individual in an institutional<br />

context. It is about an emotional response to art,<br />

the feel of a brush on a piece of paper, the joy<br />

of colour, the texture of paint. We have begun<br />

to touch the surface with new media projects,<br />

digital animation, video but we have much more<br />

to do. I want to offer the artists flexibility in<br />

their approaches to working with patients but<br />

I also have to constantly demonstrate that this<br />

particular model of practice is cost effective.


18<br />

From the outset, there are certain criteria which<br />

are essential for me to. We employ only practicing<br />

and professional artists. When I interview artists,<br />

I look at their practice, whether in painting,<br />

drawing, printmaking, film, video or sculpture<br />

but I equally consider their communication skills.<br />

We establish dedicated art spaces in each of<br />

the hospitals we work in. I feel it is essential to<br />

work in a non clinical space in an environment<br />

which is notably different to the wards.<br />

I think of Art in Hospital as giving back choices<br />

to people who have temporarily had choices<br />

removed from them and developing stronger<br />

links between medicine, treatment, care and<br />

artistic practice, which have traditionally been<br />

seen as having no relationship. Health care is<br />

seen as structured and functional; art is seen<br />

as slightly anarchic and needing freedom not<br />

context. The reality is less divided. Artists are<br />

open and responsive to changing situations and<br />

health care professionals are also concerned<br />

about individuality and quality of life for patients.<br />

In 2006 we have over eighteen artists employed<br />

across nine hospitals. Since we began, we have<br />

had sixty five exhibitions, we have undertaken<br />

projects in France, Switzerland and Belgium.<br />

We have exhibited at ten Glasgow Art Fairs.<br />

I want Art in Hospital to be a model for other<br />

health boards and to suggest a new way of<br />

working between health boards and arts<br />

funding bodies. I want to look at our work<br />

in partnership with hospitals in Europe and<br />

internationally and I want eventually to<br />

see artists, patients, hospital Clinical Staff,<br />

Administrative Staff all endorsing the important<br />

place of art in a hospital environment.<br />

The potential and the demand for<br />

expansion of our work is endless.





Liz Cameron<br />



I have watched the work of Art in Hospital<br />

develop for the last 13 years and I emphatically<br />

endorse its success. Care for the elderly is of<br />

particular interest for me and I have always<br />

seen the results of their work in physical<br />

rehabilitation. I believe wholeheartedly in their<br />

approach of sharing skills and facilitating a<br />

creative environment for the people they are<br />

working with. Not only is it transforming for them<br />

mentally and emotionally; nursing staff have<br />

talked to me about the improvements they see<br />

in patients’ confidence, level of mental alertness<br />

and even in their physical conditions. I think<br />

their work is pioneering and I am delighted to be<br />

associated with it and support it. It is important<br />

to remember that health doesn’t just mean an<br />

absence of sickness but a state of well being.<br />

I remember walking into the hospital at<br />

Blawarthill Hospital and seeing artists working,<br />

intent and absorbed. Then I realised that most<br />

of the patients were in their 80’s and it was an<br />

uplifting moment that I will remember for ever.<br />

I’m also delighted that Art in Hospital have<br />

such a prominent place at the Glasgow Art<br />

Fair. The organisation is an integral part<br />

of the arts in Glasgow. The work is of such<br />

high quality that it comes as no surprise to<br />

me that it sells so well. The quality control<br />

comes from the patients being supported by<br />

talented and dedicated professional artists.<br />

Alzheimers doesn’t so much as run in my<br />

family, it gallops and I want to know that if I<br />

am hospitalised and need constant care when<br />

I get older that there will be talented and<br />

dedicated artists sharing their skills with me, so<br />

I have very selfish reasons too for supporting<br />

so completely the work of Art in Hospital.<br />




Bridget McConnell<br />



26<br />

What is sometimes perceived as social<br />

engineering through art is often criticised but I<br />

believe wholeheartedly in the transformational<br />

power of art and its worth and value to<br />

individual lives. My involvement with Art in<br />

Hospital is at policy level, ensuring that work<br />

like this is not marginalised but an integral part<br />

of Glasgow’s arts policy. In the field of health<br />

care for the elderly, the emphasis seems to be<br />

shifting from the importance of prolonging life<br />

for its own sake to an acceptance that quality<br />

of life must be provided at every stage of life.<br />

In the same way, evaluation of arts policies<br />

in this area cannot simply be about numbers<br />

but must also take into account anecdotal<br />

evidence about the value to patients and<br />

health care workers of art and arts practice.<br />

We need to have more advocates at opinion<br />

forming level to ensure revenue funding<br />

for organisations that work in this area.

Arts projects in health care work when the artists<br />

do not compromise on the quality of work and the<br />

sharing of all their skills. No one wants access to<br />

mediocrity, everyone wants access to excellence.<br />

This is why Art in Hospital is so successful. Skilled<br />

and talented professional artists are employed<br />

in a way that firstly allows them to share their<br />

experience and secondly allows them the time<br />

and space to continue their own professional<br />

development. All the artists I have seen working<br />

within the Art in Hospital projects are committed<br />

to what they are doing. Their communication skills<br />

and levels of involvement with patients and health<br />

care staff is the cornerstone of their success.<br />

27<br />

As a possible model for funding and access to the<br />

arts in hospital, I am particularly interested in the<br />

GP referral scheme that currently applies to sport<br />

and would like to see it extended to arts practice.



David McQuatt<br />


30<br />

Art in Hospital is constantly evolving as an<br />

organisation and as a body of artists. We are<br />

trying to consolidate our work but at the same<br />

time we want to move forward with new ways<br />

of involvement and new practice. I see part<br />

of our role as being to validate the concept of<br />

peoples’ privacy within an institution. That<br />

means offering them the choice to come into<br />

an environment that suggests new ways of<br />

expressing themselves personally. It means<br />

helping to find a form of visual expression for<br />

people that is non-judgemental and in which<br />

no one makes assumptions about what people<br />

can or cannot do simply because they are in a<br />

hospital situation. That’s the basic philosophy of<br />

the organisation for me. The process follows of<br />

creating work and the finished work is at the end<br />

of the line and all are important, but no moment<br />

is more important for me than when someone<br />

picks up that pencil, brush or charcoal for the<br />

very first time and makes that initial mark. The<br />

strength of our work is shown by the demand<br />

for us to open our practice to more units, more<br />

nursing homes, more hospitals, more artists.<br />

Our resources are constantly stretched and<br />

difficult decisions are constantly having to<br />

be made. We would like to offer more artists,<br />

more time for development, for discussion,<br />

for evaluation and widen access to all.<br />

Current levels of funding make it impossible.



John Lieser<br />


I wasn’t allowed to do art at school because I had<br />

a German surname. I had to do the sweeping up<br />

instead. I think my early paintings were terrible<br />

but the artists encouraged me to persevere. I’ve<br />

only missed 2 art sessions in the last 3 years. It’s<br />

the most important thing I do. It’s the only time<br />

I lose myself and forget about the cancer. I’m in<br />

a wee world of my own. I feel warm and secure. I<br />

started out by just looking at the paintings in the<br />

books and sometimes I just sat there and looked<br />

at the flowers. It’s difficult to explain the feeling<br />

when they told me someone had bought one of<br />

my paintings at the Art Fair. It was unbelievable.<br />

I was choked up. I think it was one of the most<br />

important moments in my life. Can you imagine?<br />

Someone paid for one of my paintings, then took<br />

it home and hung it on their wall. Unbelievable.<br />


Irene Florence<br />


34<br />

I don’t believe in altruism. I do a job that<br />

brings immense satisfaction and it is a job that<br />

includes frail and vulnerable people. I think<br />

the demand for our work will always be there.<br />

Initially, other health care workers can be wary<br />

of us and of what we do, but then become very<br />

receptive. I think that we’re in quite a privileged<br />

position compared to the care staff. They are<br />

having to cope with primary care needs whilst<br />

we are there to help to release creativity in<br />

people and give them back some choices. As<br />

artists we all have lots of ideas as to how to<br />

develop projects; ideas are never a problem<br />

but resourcing them is problem. I would<br />

describe our work as person centred but within<br />

the parameters of prescribed hospital life.<br />

My own practice has been clearly influenced<br />

by the people I work with here. I am working in<br />

hospitals with people who are very hesitant and<br />

unsure of the materials they are working with,<br />

whether its charcoal, acrylics, pastels or oils.<br />

When I’m in my own studio I try much harder<br />

now to let go with my materials and to enjoy<br />

them. I know I have become more confident<br />

in the use of texture, colour and surface.

we are<br />

there to<br />

help to<br />

release<br />

creativity<br />

in people.<br />




Winnie<br />


38<br />

I’ll be doing this sky in my dreams<br />

tonight. I know I won’t be able to<br />

sleep unless I get that sky right. You<br />

see I’m a learner with a capital ‘L’.<br />

The simple fact is that I was unhappy<br />

before I started painting and I’ve<br />

been happy since. Once a week’s<br />

just not enough. I should be painting<br />

every day. I should always have<br />

been painting. It would have kept<br />

me out of trouble. I’ve always been<br />

in trouble. My parents despaired of<br />

me. There were all sorts of troubles<br />

in my life. I was married three times<br />

and all my husbands died. I sit in<br />

this room with my paints and I feel<br />

joy, hope and happiness. I’m at one<br />

with the world for the first time.

I’m at one with<br />

the world for<br />

39<br />

the first time.


Dr Paul Knight<br />


MEDIC<strong>IN</strong>E FOR THE ELDERLY<br />

In 1991 I was given the management of the care<br />

for the elderly unit and part of my understanding<br />

of that brief was to enhance the quality of life<br />

for people in the unit. Provision of artists and<br />

dedicated art spaces within hospitals are not part<br />

of the strategic thinking within primary care but<br />

I believe there should be strategic partnerships<br />

between health boards and those organisations<br />

which fund the arts. In the same way that funding<br />

partnerships are necessary, a holistic approach<br />

to care is also essential; not just in the hospital<br />

but when possible in the hospital outreach<br />

programmes. Joint working should become<br />

an ethos. Everyone has such severe budgetary<br />

restraints that it’s the only way forward for this<br />

kind of work. It’s easy to say that for a relatively<br />

modest investment, there are very high returns. I<br />

can see that the work is far more than diversional.<br />

There are the workshops, the exhibitions, the<br />

Art Fair and lots of other public moments. I can<br />

understand now how important this work is.<br />

Projects like Art in Hospital develop from a kernel<br />

and are nurtured by one enthusiastic protagonist.<br />

In this case it was Barbara Gulliver.<br />





Lucy Bates<br />


ART <strong>IN</strong> HOSPITAL<br />

I enjoy applying the skills that<br />

I have learnt to support other<br />

peoples’ work. Our work is<br />

not about analysis; the results<br />

may be therapeutic but I am<br />

not a therapist. I am an Artist<br />

sharing what I know. Working<br />

in a group is an important part<br />

of the process. A third focus is<br />

created between ourselves and<br />

the patients. We are relating<br />

to each other through art and<br />

achievement and process. It’s a<br />

very different conversation to<br />

illness, treatments and doctors.<br />

We are<br />

relating to<br />

each other<br />

through art.<br />






Claire Simpson<br />



54<br />

I look at Art in Hospital in the same way I look at<br />

any professional visual arts organisation working<br />

in the city. I don’t pigeon hole them within a<br />

social context because they’re all professional<br />

artists who are developing their own practice at<br />

the same time as sharing their skills and training<br />

with a particularly venerable section of the<br />

community. I don’t see how you can make a rigid<br />

distinction between this kind of work and any<br />

other professional practice. I imagine the work<br />

the artists do in the Glasgow hospitals feeds<br />

into their practice in the same way as any other<br />

important life experience feeds their practice.


Charlotte Donovan<br />

ARTIST, ART <strong>IN</strong> HOSPITAL<br />

56<br />

The ultimate<br />

wish would be<br />

dedicated art<br />

space on every<br />

hospital site.<br />

The ultimate wish would be dedicated art<br />

space on every hospital site. Each one would<br />

have open access for visitors, staff, patients<br />

and visitors. There would be exhibitions,<br />

performances, residencies, public art<br />

programmes, artists’ studios. They would be<br />

living, vibrant non-institutional spaces within<br />

the necessary confines of the hospitals.<br />

I hope that health care professionals are gradually<br />

understanding and endorsing the place of the<br />

artist’s work in hospitals. There is still a sense that<br />

all the other professionals working in a health care<br />

context have their place but that the Artist remains<br />

on the periphery. As artists we are often working<br />

up to five hours a day with individual patients,<br />

more hours than any other member of staff.


Marielle Macleman<br />

58<br />

ARTIST COORD<strong>IN</strong>ATOR, ARTS <strong>IN</strong><br />


It’s hard to dispel the myth that we’re<br />

therapists. We are artists who have<br />

made a choice to spend time working<br />

here at the hospice. We are not here to<br />

analyse. For us this is not a therapeutic<br />

practice but an artistic practice. Our<br />

discussions with patients are about<br />

colour and light and materials. Each<br />

time I look at the walls of this room, I<br />

see extraordinary stories. Over there<br />

I can see the sun setting over the loch<br />

painted by someone who has a brain<br />

tumour. The landscape next to it was<br />

painted by a man who has just relearnt<br />

to use his left hand. That series of small<br />

paintings have been done by someone<br />

who has lost all verbal skills and needed<br />

a way to say thank you to her carers. Not<br />

long ago, we were visited by a man who<br />

wanted to collect his mother’s paintings.<br />

She had died some weeks previous<br />

to his visit and he said it was the only<br />

legacy he had of her. There is a lot of<br />

colour and a lot of laughter in this room.<br />


Loretto Fernie<br />


60<br />

I’d love to have<br />

gone to Art School.<br />

I would never have<br />

missed a class.<br />

I’d have been the<br />

first one in and the<br />

last one out.<br />

I’m an insomniac. I only sleep<br />

for an hour or so at a time. I<br />

used to lie there awake, just<br />

worrying and thinking. Now I<br />

keep my paints and my easel<br />

by my bed and when I wake<br />

up I paint. Sometimes I get<br />

my best ideas in the night.<br />

Since I started painting I’ve<br />

cut down on my smoking. I<br />

used to smoke about 60 a day<br />

and now I smoke about 15.<br />

I would paint all day and all night<br />

if I could. I’d love to have gone<br />

to Art School. I would never have<br />

missed a class. I’d have been the<br />

first one in and the last one out.


Sharon Goodlet<br />


Working for Art in Hospital is ideal for artists<br />

as they have time to work alone in the studio<br />

as well as time working with the patients.<br />

The isolation and self-absorption that is often<br />

a problem for some artists is reduced by<br />

the very intensive time with the patients.<br />

62<br />

There is always an element of surprise working<br />

with elderly residents. I worked with an 86 year<br />

old woman who had left school at 13 to look after<br />

her brothers and discovered painting through<br />

Art in Hospital. She had amazing energy and<br />

experimented with a wide range of materials. She<br />

was very talented. Her enthusiasm for painting<br />

changed her life at 86. Her story inspired me<br />

and in turn renewed an enthusiasm for my own<br />

work. Those stories aren’t unusual and many<br />

of us working as artists within the project are<br />

constantly refreshed by the enthusiasm and<br />

dedication of the patients. I’ve found that<br />

artists who no longer work with traditional<br />

materials become drawn to them again through<br />

their time spent working with patients.<br />

I’ve worked with a number of the different<br />

client groups. With the elderly in the<br />

Mansionhouse Unit, with clients through<br />

the Epilepsy Connection, with the physically<br />

disabled rehab unit. I’ve also worked on<br />

preparing work for the Art Fair, which is<br />

often an important boost to the patients<br />

whose work is selected and sold.<br />

We could do a lot more if we were adequately<br />

resourced to develop. We could create more<br />

dedicated workshop spaces and have more<br />

exhibitions. We could spend more time in<br />

staff training and develop our skills. I see<br />

healthcare staff attitudes changing when<br />

they see the results of what we do. Open<br />

days are important where people can see

the work and understand the process and give<br />

the artists a higher profile in the hospitals.<br />

We’re all pushed for time. We have lots of<br />

contact time with patients, there aren’t the<br />

resources to allow us to develop ideas and<br />

talk amongst other artists about what works<br />

and why as much as we like. It would be great<br />

to employ a fundraiser, someone to market<br />

and promote the work, and a curator to keep<br />

the exhibitions fresh across the hospitals.<br />



Sandra Anderson<br />


I’m working on a painting<br />

now that was inspired by<br />

my holiday in Yorkshire.<br />

It’s a painting of the<br />

North York Moors. I’m<br />

trying to bring back the<br />

light from my holiday.<br />

I remember looking out at<br />

the cliffs, the lighthouse,<br />

the tractors in the fields.<br />

It’s all there. I’ve just got<br />

to try to bring it back<br />

and put it here. I had<br />

my first brain tumour<br />

around my 38 th birthday.<br />


Kirsty Stansfield<br />

ARTIST, ART <strong>IN</strong> HOSPITAL<br />

66<br />

I work with digital media and the person centred<br />

approach that is the ethos of Art in Hospital very<br />

much reflects my own approach to making and<br />

researching work. Process is very important to<br />

me, in both my own art practice and my work<br />

with Art in Hospital. It is not about setting goals.<br />

It’s ongoing and has to be seen as long term in<br />

the way we build relationships and trust. I think<br />

the art room is often perceived as an oasis in the<br />

hospital. It can be seen as good and bad that we’re<br />

not part of multi-disciplinary care teams within the<br />

hospital. On one hand it gives us autonomy and<br />

independence but it does mean we are always on<br />

the edge. I think what we do is to make space to<br />

allow people to find something within themselves.

I begin new sessions by<br />

introducing myself on the<br />

wards. I describe the art space.<br />

I ask people to come and visit<br />

the space and when they do<br />

come, I encourage them to<br />

respond to the materials in<br />

their own way. I think when<br />

people are given the opportunity<br />

they can communicate an<br />

idea or a thought visually<br />

which they wouldn’t<br />

normally say using words.<br />

At the moment I’m creating a<br />

project about reduced personal<br />

space and I’m looking at how<br />

people relate to personal objects<br />

in such a reduced environment.<br />

For example, there can be four<br />

people living in a ward and<br />

their personal possessions are<br />

reduced to clothing and one<br />

or two framed photographs.<br />

Working with people with<br />

dementia, for example, can<br />

be rewarding and can also be<br />

very frustrating. There can be<br />

sessions when no two words<br />

relate to each other and other<br />

days when everything flows<br />

for that same individual.<br />

Sometimes people have to walk<br />

past the art room many times<br />

before they actually come in,<br />

and even then it takes another<br />

few weeks before they have the<br />

confidence to do anything. We<br />

have to be patient and ready to<br />

help them build on this over time.<br />

Bill created a video postcard<br />

to send to his daughter in<br />

Canada. He had never held<br />

a video camera before and<br />

he immediately created a<br />

very personal relationship<br />

with it, both in front of and<br />

behind the camera. He filmed<br />

other residents too and they<br />

responded to the camera<br />

very positively. There would<br />

have been a very different<br />

response if I had been holding<br />

the camera. As artists working<br />

in this way, we sometimes<br />

have to make ourselves<br />

invisible. Our role becomes<br />

to help people translate a<br />

thought or an idea by sharing<br />

the creative skills we have.<br />



Daisy Richardson<br />

ARTIST, ART <strong>IN</strong> HOSPITAL<br />

As an artist it is rewarding<br />

to share what you know<br />

with someone else and to<br />

see amazing results simply<br />

from that information being<br />

passed on. Perhaps we can<br />

be credited with providing<br />

some of the pieces in the<br />

jigsaw but the overall concept<br />

and result belongs to the<br />

individuals we are working<br />

with. The art rooms are an<br />

essential part of our work. They<br />

counteract the impersonal<br />

and often sterile atmosphere<br />

of the hospital and provide<br />

a neutral space for us all.<br />

There are very few rewarding<br />

ways of supporting yourself as<br />

an Artist. This is one of them.<br />

When an individual piece of work<br />

is completed for the first time<br />

by one of the patients, you can<br />

see an amazing pride in that<br />

achievement and it’s always<br />

backed up by support from<br />

other patients in the room.<br />

The training programmes offered<br />

to us are really important and<br />

I’ve picked up lots of new skills<br />

through attending them.<br />

Overall I’ve become more<br />

patient by my involvement in<br />

this kind of work, which has to<br />

be good for my own practice.<br />


Alice Shambrook<br />


70<br />

The paintings don’t feel as though they come<br />

from me. The paint and the brushes take over. I<br />

think I’ve got an Artist’s name. ‘Alice Shambrook’.<br />

I used to work for years and years in a shop in<br />

Sauchiehall Street opposite Glasgow School<br />

of Art. I used to stand in the doorway of the<br />

shop and look up at the School of Art and all<br />

the magic that spilled out of there. Now I’m<br />

an Artist and I’m a part of that same magic.<br />

When I had my stroke I felt like a nobody and a<br />

nothing. Now I feel like someone special when<br />

people say ‘Alice, is that your painting over<br />

there?’ and I say ‘Yes, that’s my painting.’<br />

You see art should be part of the world of<br />

all the ordinary people like me who never<br />

had a chance to be part of the magic.

I think<br />

I’ve got<br />

an artist’s<br />

name.<br />


Dr Keith Beard FRCP Edin<br />


MEDIC<strong>IN</strong>E FOR THE ELDERLY,<br />

VICTORIA <strong>IN</strong>FIRMARY, GLASGOW<br />

72<br />

Flashes of realization come to me through<br />

personal experiences. I remember one long<br />

stay patient. She used to crochet dishcloths<br />

for the hospital fairs. They were grey and<br />

I remember always associating the grey<br />

dishcloths she was crocheting with her as a<br />

person. Then one day I saw that she had gone<br />

to the art room with one of the artists. She<br />

was completing an acrylic painting of flowers<br />

in very vivid primary colours and I suddenly<br />

realized that I’d completely missed the point.<br />

For a very long time after that incident, I related<br />

to my patients in a different kind of way and<br />

I hope that incident will remain with me as<br />

long as I am working with elderly people.

The other important moment for me in relation<br />

to Art in Hospital was when I finally understood<br />

that the artists weren’t trying to prove<br />

anything through the work they were doing<br />

with patients. They were open, non-prejudiced,<br />

non-judgemental and weren’t setting any goals.<br />

Barbara had always explained to me that the<br />

work wasn’t therapy but I needed to understand<br />

that by seeing it. There was simply an open<br />

acceptance of everyone’s ability and the artists<br />

were sharing these values with my patients.<br />

There was absolutely no sense of imposition.<br />

I don’t know how to measure success in this area<br />

of work. I don’t know if it reduces dependency<br />

on medication. I don’t know if a growth in self<br />

confidence and happiness means a lesser sense<br />

of dependence. There is speculation amongst<br />

my colleagues that the art workshops keep<br />

some of our patients going. I personally had<br />

a patient who I firmly believe found an added<br />

strength to get through her surgery because of<br />

wanting to get back to an unfinished painting.<br />

But to actually measure the cost and benefit<br />

in this area is extraordinarily difficult. What I<br />

do know is that Art in Hospital has been going<br />

for over 13 years and innumerable people have<br />

benefited from this project. Let’s face it, within<br />

the current financial constraints and pressures<br />

of the National Health Service a lot of people<br />

must be lobbying to keep them going. I think<br />

of myself as a Lobbyist for Art in Hospital and<br />

strongly defend their funding wherever I go.<br />

I remember Art in Hospital producing a patient,<br />

Crawford Mitchell’s solo painting show. It was<br />

an extraordinary event but the real moment for<br />

me came later, when I was watching him create<br />

new work in the hospital. He knew exactly what<br />

he was doing and he was clear and focused. As<br />

he became ill and started to disappear, so too<br />

did his work. I think it was at that time that<br />

I understood the work of Art in Hospital.<br />



Chris Aiton<br />


I feel relaxed and peaceful<br />

when I’m here. I’ve never been<br />

forced or even asked to come.<br />

It was just a suggestion that<br />

I might enjoy myself. But it’s<br />

more than enjoyment working<br />

with the artists. It’s something<br />

that makes me feel very proud.<br />

I used to knit and I was always<br />

knitting for the family. Now I<br />

paint and that’s what the family<br />

get from me now, my painting.<br />

It’s completely brilliant doing<br />

painting. My family think it<br />

is too. They all came down<br />

to the Art Fair. Everyone got<br />

dressed up and they all came<br />

down to see my painting.<br />

I used to knit…<br />

now I paint.<br />




Maria Vannini<br />


78<br />

…the nursing staff<br />

think of Sam in<br />

relation to his art,<br />

Sam, the Artist…<br />

The artists bring a sense of wonder that is so<br />

often lost in an institution. You can call it what<br />

you like but I call it wonder. It would be disastrous<br />

to lose that from this hospital for patients and<br />

staff. The artists have a very special way of seeing<br />

the patients. When people spend large periods<br />

of time in hospitals they become very dependent<br />

and somehow through the art patients are given<br />

back some of that lost independence. What a gift?<br />

Sam never painted before. It’s hard to believe<br />

that now because the nursing staff think of<br />

Sam in relation to his art, Sam, the artist who<br />

is always painting. With his growth in selfconfidence<br />

and self-esteem I have seen a<br />

new physical and mental strength in him.<br />

Sarah had always refused to join any group.<br />

Now I see her confidant, happy and smiling.<br />

She still won’t go to any other group but<br />

she doesn’t miss going to the art room.


Alex McKenzie<br />



80<br />

The role of the NHS in Continuing Care is changing<br />

dramatically. Care for the Elderly is becoming less<br />

about clinical intervention and more and more<br />

about ensuring continuing quality of life.<br />

A care package should in theory comprehensively<br />

include priority services and non mainstream<br />

services. Once patients have been discharged<br />

from hospital, we have to consider rehabilitation<br />

and a range of activities to enhance quality of life<br />

and most importantly to avoid readmittance.

We all see the benefits of the work<br />

of Art in Hospital although the<br />

measurable benefits are less easy<br />

to document. I have to measure<br />

numbers, capacities, facilities.<br />

The arts funders have to support<br />

us with the non measurable<br />

benefits of the arts, because their<br />

evaluation systems must take<br />

into account the artists and the<br />

work, which we, within the health<br />

sector cannot do. The aspirations<br />

that we have for holistic provision<br />

for elderly people are much<br />

greater than what we can provide<br />

financially. I can only see those<br />

tensions getting worse. We are<br />

currently looking at social models<br />

of care for the elderly and how to<br />

deliver social care models more<br />

effectively. The pilot projects we<br />

set up with Art in Hospital are in<br />

recognition of those changes<br />

in thinking.<br />




Maureen Henderson O<strong>BE</strong><br />

DIRECTOR OF NURS<strong>IN</strong>G<br />


84<br />

I first found out about Art in Hospital in 1993 at<br />

Cowglen as part of the Continuing Care facility.<br />

I began by seeing the work as diversional therapy<br />

and welcomed it in that context but over the last<br />

10 years my views have changed as I understand<br />

the work more. It’s essential for Art in Hospital<br />

to continue and I honestly believe that the<br />

majority of nursing staff are of the same opinion.

There are so many negative stories<br />

about the health service; it’s good to<br />

have a success story. Art in Hospital<br />

has a real credibility because of the<br />

sensitivity the artists have to working<br />

within the confines of a hospital and<br />

because of the quality of work the<br />

patients produce with the support<br />

of the artists. I remember talking to<br />

someone who had been in the art<br />

sessions who told me it was the first<br />

time he had something different to<br />

talk to his relatives about. There’s<br />

an important knock on effect too.<br />

Families can gain a new respect for their<br />

relatives who they may have begun to<br />

see primarily as a patient. That can be<br />

very important for example in a family<br />

discussion about the future of a patient.<br />

85<br />

Life is very dull for people in long term<br />

care. I was delighted to see that Art in<br />

Hospital had extended their services<br />

to the spinal and rehabilitation units.


Sam O’Boyle<br />


I was brought up in the East End<br />

of Glasgow and you didn’t do<br />

art in the East End of Glasgow<br />

when I was a boy. I come to<br />

paint here now twice a week.<br />

I’d come every day if the artists<br />

were here. I like to work with<br />

acrylic. I like charcoal too, but<br />

it’s difficult to control my hands<br />

so the charcoal smudges easily<br />

if you can’t keep a steady hand.<br />

I’ve tried water colours too but<br />

somehow I always go back to<br />

acrylics for the effect I want.<br />



Maggie Maxwell<br />


Hospitals are microcosms of communities<br />

and within every community, there is always<br />

an Artist. It is a fundamental given with<br />

Art in Hospital that the artists are always<br />

professionally trained and interested in their<br />

own practice. I never question that assurance.<br />

Because of this principle, there is a consistently<br />

high quality of engagement and of work.<br />

I have always fought for the arts funding bodies to<br />

recognize this area of work and to mainstream it<br />

as core provision. Sustainable funding is essential<br />

for the development of the work. It has to be<br />

about partnerships between the arts funders and<br />

the health boards. Between us all, there has to be<br />

an endorsement of artists working in institutions<br />

like hospitals, hospices, day care centres.<br />

In the end it comes down to basic humanity<br />

doesn’t it? Doctors, administrators, patients,<br />

artists, managers. We all know the value of this<br />

kind of provision, we all want to offer it to<br />

patients, we all want to support artists who<br />

choose to work in this field. We see the results.<br />

All of this goes without saying. The problem is<br />

putting the jigsaw together so that we maximize<br />

funding opportunities and take these projects<br />

forward. The evidence base is growing and now<br />

there are mapping exercises to monitor what<br />

is happening in the area of art and health.<br />




Gill Keith<br />


92<br />

I remember this incredible feeling of relief when I<br />

first found the art space at the hospital. I nearly cried<br />

when someone offered me a choice of teas and a<br />

choice of biscuits. Actually, I think I did cry, with relief.<br />

The circumstances of my life had changed traumatically<br />

overnight and the contact with the artists was the first<br />

time that I was offered the opportunity to acknowledge<br />

that change and to express what was happening inside<br />

my head. It was a totally safe space for that expression<br />

and there were no expectations or assumptions<br />

about what I could or couldn’t do. The artists gave me<br />

information. They responded to what I was trying to say<br />

visually and allowed me to process those thoughts.<br />

Art in Hospital provided me with a level of sanity and self<br />

recognition that I thought I had almost lost. I didn’t know<br />

how to do ‘life’ any more in this new situation. I remember<br />

the feeling of self-affirmation when I was painting and I<br />

realised that the way I felt when I was painting was the<br />

way I had to make myself feel in my day to day life.





96<br />

This document was made possible through additional funds outwith the core programme.

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