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      Artist Interviews

      Art in the Hospital: 3 questions with the expert

      We ask Anna Matthams, Visual Arts Officer at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, three questions about the importance of a creative presence in hospitals

      By Charlotte Broomfield | 18 Dec 2013
      Art in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
      How did you get into working with art in hospitals?
      I was studying for my MA Contemporary Curating in Manchester when I first became interested in art in the public realm and how it can be used beyond the gallery space. I worked with an organisation called Arts for Health, helping them to commission artists for new hospitals in the North West and devise temporary exhibitions. I realised then the transformative power that art can have in healthcare and decided to focus my career on it.
      Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
      What’s important in curating art in a hospital? 
      You must be very sensitive to the environment and peoples’ experiences, far more so than working in other public spaces. We undertake thorough consultation with staff and patients before we install or commission any work so we can understand what people are feeling both physically and emotionally, and respond to this with art and design that can have the best possible impact. 
      Best response you’ve received from someone in the hospital? 
      The mother of one of our patients told us that the art in the hospital “saved her life” when her son was ill, that an installation of fish at the top of the building in particular had given her hope and support. That was wonderful feedback to hear.
      Art in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
      Art in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
      Rise Art's Art for Care donates a children's Art kit to a London hospital every time one of our members makes a purchase. We work closely with Charities and Hospitals in order to give back as much as possible. If you want to learn more about Rise Art's Art for Care click HERE.  

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