In November 2016 we were successful with an Arts Council England application and received an award of £80,000, matched with funds from Sheffield Hospitals Charity, to support an artist-in-residence programme: ‘In & Out of Hospital’. The project started in January 2017 with two patient groups: spinal cord injuries and palliative care who benefited from weekly arts and crafts sessions delivered by professional artists.
A trio of crafts people from Yorkshire Artspace were selected to work with patients from the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre at the Northern General Hospital. Coralie Turpin (mosaics), Jason Thomson (sculpture) and Seiko Kinoshita (weaving) took it in turns to deliver their creative skills workshops, teaching patients new techniques and supporting them to create small artworks that went on display in the Avenue of the Millennium Galleries between June and September 2018 where some 90,000 people were able to see it.
Brian Whitmore and Jane Forster from arts collaborative ‘Redfolio‘ based in Wigan, ran weekly creative sessions with palliative care patients from the Macmillan Palliative Care Unit at the Northern General Hospital. They used recurring themes from over 300 archived stories from former patients, recorded by the University of Sheffield’s ‘Oral History Project’. Anecdotes about work, place, love, memories, holidays etc. formed the starting point for a series of short meaningful creative activities with and for patients and their relatives. The project was selected for Festival of the Mind ‘Futurecade 2018‘ that took place between 20th and 30th September 2018 at Millennium Galleries, where over 9000 people visited the exhibition. Read more here
In 2018 we continued the programme and worked with people from the hearing impairment outpatients and the stroke rehabilitation patient groups.
Composer, musician and experienced workshop leader Thomas Sherman was commissioned to work with people with hearing impairments. We worked in close partnership with University of Sheffield’s Department for Music who provided their rehearsal space and a range of musical instruments free of charge. A total of 20 participants worked in small groups and composed a variety of new musical compositions. In March 2019 we held a public event at BLOC projects where our participants performed their music in front of a live audience who were also encouraged to bring and use musical instruments and participate in the event. Two large paintings of ‘graphic scores’, created and used by the participants to help with the creation of some of the musical compositions, were used in the live performance to demonstrate how ‘signs’ can be translated into ‘sound’. The University made a short video during the final rehearsals before the final performance when some of the participants express how important it was for them to engage with music despite not being able to hear at all, or hear as well as you once could. A final closing event was held in the Department of Audiology and Hearing Services where we showed the film for the first time to some of the participants, members of staff, patient governors and staff from Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
In October 2018 we started our final project with Manchester based artist Elisa Artesero and stroke patients in our recently opened rehabilitation centre (SPARC). Elisa ran weekly workshops for small groups of patients using a range of drawing, writing and mark-making skills and tools, using ‘flowers’ as a way to inspire. Patients were encouraged to visualise and verbalise their creative abilities and to their practice hand-motor and cognitive skills in a relaxed, safe environment. Work created by the participants have been photographed and digitally manipulated and will be installed in the Centre over the coming weeks. We are also producing a commemorative mug for the project that we will sell at the Sheffield Hospitals Charity Hub at the Northern General Hospital to give this project a wider public reach and create some publicity for both SPARC and ARTS@STH. Read more here
In October 2018 the programme received the Patients Choice Award for the Spinal Cord and Palliative Care project from the National Building Better Healthcare Award, London. Arts Coordinators Danielle Parker-Jessop and Mir Jansen (pictured) went to London to pick up their trophy. We are incredibly proud of everyone who has taken part and want to thank our funders, staff and partners for all the support they have given us.