Art in Health

Meravigliare il Rosso used on the cover of Psychoanalytic Theory for Social Work Practice: Thinking under Fire by Marion Bower (2005)

A recent proposal led me to think about art in health settings. I’m very aware of the importance of art in these types of surroundings both from my experience as a patient who has benefited from the presence of uplifting work and as an artist who has shown work in similar settings.

Joanna Wakefield, Art Director at Art St George’s, believes that abstract art is a particularly powerful medium to enable patients and staff to find their own narratives, noting that the nature of the art within their collection is purposefully without subject bias, whilst leaning away from dark colours and macabre scenes towards bold, textured abstract works with plenty of room for interpretation and reflection.

My own work takes its inspiration from specific themes and subject matter but the finished work is generally abstract. I have work in the permanent collections of the BMA building in Tavistock Place and the Tavistock Clinic where I’ve exhibited a number of times in the past. I’ve also displayed my art at the Wandsworth Medical Centre and it has been used in visualization sessions for relaxation and meditation at the NHS Trust’s Bristol Breast Care Centre.

Corridor gallery at the Tavistock Centre

I’m conscious of the power of artwork to calm and uplift; to alter and enhance an environment and change an individual’s mood through colour. I’m deeply interested in the relationship between colour and state of mind. I’m conscious of the calming influence of blues and the potential of colours such as carmine red and jaune d’or to interact in a stimulating way to reinforce feelings of positivity. Art has the capacity to effect a different state of mind and transport the viewer somewhere else albeit for a brief moment in time.

My practice encompasses a broad range of media and techniques with the ‘pulp work’ (examples shown) represent a large part of my recent output. The uneven edges of the final work is very important to me as it breaks down the border between the picture and what lies beyond. It enables the work to define a space and become part of the surroundings rather than being a series of contained images.

Rivelare (Reveal) 63 x 105 cm – cotton fibre, pigment dyes, hemp, sand 2018

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