We are extremely excited to announce that after receiving funding from Arts Council England, Seasalt Cornwall and the Isabella Blow Foundation, along with a contribution from the Little Something Devon Partnership Trust charitable fund, the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) have joined forces with Hospital Rooms, an arts and mental health charity. Hospital Rooms’ mission is to bring world class art to mental health hospitals.
Their vision is for all people in mental health wards to have the freedom to experience extraordinary artworks. We believe in the power of art to provide joy and dignity and to stimulate and heal.
Starting on 10 January and running through to March 2019, Hospital Rooms will work collaboratively with the PICU and the MBU and 12 contemporary artists to create artwork for the new units. A series of open events and workshops have been set up where people who use our services and staff will have the opportunity to meet the artists and help shape the art that will be displayed.
The artists are:
For the MBU - Julian Opie, Sara Berman, Mark Titchner, Tamsin Relly, Tim A Shaw and Nina Royle
For the PICU - Lucy Stein, Susie Hamilton, Jon Emmony, Rose Pilkington, Bindi Vora and Grenville Davey
Hospital Rooms works closely with the artists and NHS trusts to make sure that each artwork is safe for the people who use the service and does not compromise on quality. At the end of each project, the artwork is professionally photographed, and then a booklet is created that gives context to the project and to each of the artworks. We very much look forward to sharing this with you when the project is complete.
Hospital Rooms says: "We are very excited to commence this project with Devon Partnership NHS Trust. This marks a pivotal moment for Hospital Rooms, being our first collaboration in the South West and the first with a Mother and Baby Unit. We are thrilled at the calibre of artists that have agreed to work with us from Turner Prize winner Grenville Davey, who has a close connection to the area being from Launceston and having lived nearby to the hospital in Exeter for many years, to world renowned artist Julian Opie who exhibits internationally to celebrated fashion designer turned painter Sara Berman and Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner who has just completed a major public commission for London Bridge station. We are looking forward to combining the expertise of all involved to create a series of artworks that will be thoughtful, rejuvenating and inspiring for a community that would not ordinarily have access to high quality arts and creativity during their time in hospital."
Keri Gilchrist, Ward Manager of PICU, says: "‘The Junipers team is really looking forward to working with the artists from Hospital Rooms. The work they have done on other inpatient units across the country has been both inspiring and innovative. Their inclusive approach is reflective of how The Junipers team works in a collaborative way. We hope the artwork will make The Junipers less clinical and more therapeutic in appearance, enhancing everyone’s experience of the unit."
Dr Jo Black, Perinatal Consultant Psychiatrist says: "Those who have used or worked in inpatient mental health environments can reflect on how good care is so much more than accurate diagnosis, evidence based prescribing, a thoughtful care plan and access to appropriate talking therapy. Inpatient units are communities and the relationships which are formed are an invaluable part of recovery. Equally, the ability to find safety when one doesn’t feel safe is part of the role of the inpatient unit.
"All the senses are affected in mental illness. For example, for some experiencing psychosis noises and colours can be brighter, more vibrant and sometimes potentially frightening. For those in deep depression, the sense of taste can be completely absent, the world looks duller and physical touch becomes less comfortable.
"What can we do in wards to ensure we are understanding and addressing some of these experiences? A choice of menu, gentle acoustics, comfortable spaces to be while you are an inpatient. A soft mattress, a comfortable sofa, a mug to hold, access to music, to movement, exercise, the arts. Something to provide a focus of hope, engaging the senses, stimulating the mind, providing a place for reflection.
"We are thrilled to work with the artists in this Hospital Rooms collaboration. Access to art on the MBU and PICU is one of the ways we can provide hope, humanity, compassion, reassurance and reflection for those in dark and troubling times in their lives. Given the strong arts communities in Cornwall, Somerset and Devon we also hope that the Hospital Rooms Project will give us another way for our mental health community to connect with the arts within our region in a wider way."
For the latest build position for the MBU, please take a look at the latest newsletter from Interserve here.