Artwork by Andy Harper, Salus Ward
Hospital Rooms is delighted to present an exhibition to celebrate the completion of a major collaboration with Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Over the past year, fifteen artists have produced ambitious new artworks for three mental health inpatient wards at Torbay Hospital. This exhibition, held at MAKE Southwest in Bovey Tracey, will showcase the project, taking visitors on a journey through the process of developing original, thought-provoking artworks and transforming three ordinary, clinical wards into spaces of hope and promise.
The project has taken place at Beech Unit, Haytor Ward and the newly-built Salus Ward, with five artists allocated toeach ward. All three wards provide care for adults living with acute mental health needs, with Beech looking after older people and Haytor and Salus caring for adults aged 18 and over. At Beech, artworks have been created by Catherine Cartwright, Max Eastley, Tom Hammick, Mark Jessett and Katy Richardson; at Haytor, the artists are Samuel Bassett, Jacqui Hallum, Simon Ripley, Tanoa Sasraku and Huhtamaki Wab; at Salus, they are Cass Agazzi Brooks, Andy Harper, Amy McCarthy, Ged Quinn and Anna Chrystal Stephens.
Central to the creation of the new artworks was a series of workshops hosted by the artists, during which staff, patients, care providers and members of the wider community with lived experience of mental health difficulties explored a theme or an artistic medium, collectively generating ideas for the final artwork. Artists at Beech Unit and Haytor Ward ran workshops with staff and patients on site, inviting them to express ideas and hopes about how the wards should look and feel. Meanwhile, a partnership with the Devon Recovery Learning Community enabled the artists working on Salus Ward, which was still under construction at the time of the project, to reach members of the public with lived experience. These workshops took place at venues across South Devon, with participants providinginsights either from their own memories and experiences of being in hospital, or those of a loved one.
The exhibition will feature imagery of the final installed artworks alongside preparatory sketches and maquettes, as well as photographs of the workshops, information about the wards and reflections from artists, staff and patients. Its aim is to promote the project and generate a greater awareness of the work of Hospital Rooms, providing a space for reflection and discussion and demonstrating the importance of making art and creativity accessible to people even at the most difficult of times.
As well as the Devon Recovery Learning Community, Hospital Rooms has worked closely with Artizan Gallery, who have helped us to discover and reach creative practitioners from Torbay and South Devon. We have also received advice from Torbay Culture and Healthwatch Torbay on the wider local context, opportunities and challenges. The project has been generously supported by the Devon Partnership NHS Trust Charity, The Rayne Foundation, and Kier.