Palliative Care Arts Project selected for Festival of the Mind

We are very pleased to have been selected for this year’s Festival of the Mind

Jane Forster and Brian Whitmore from arts collaborative Redfolio were selected to undertake a residency on our Palliative Care Unit in May 2017 as part of our ‘In and Out of Hospital’ programme funded by Arts Council England and Sheffield Hospitals Charity.  The artworks they have created, inspired by the creative workshops with patients from our Palliative Care Unit, will be displayed at the prestigious Millennium Galleries in Sheffield city centre.

Every Wednesday afternoon, between 1pm and 3pm, Jane and Brian set up their craft table in the reception area of our Palliative Care unit and invite patients, relatives and members of staff to take part in short, meaningful craft workshops.  Participants are usually asked to respond to simple questions about events and places they remember, people they love, wishes they have and would like to pass on.  The questions have been carefully selected from the archive of some 300 stories from former patients on the unit, collated by the University of Sheffield’s Oral History project.   Responses are incorporated into small artworks that patients and their relatives and visitors are able to make and keep or give away.

One of the activities the artists have developed over the time of their residency is a hand-print service.  Brian explains:- “It is proving to be a popular request.  Every week patients and relatives ask us for hand-prints.  These moments are very special to patients and their loved ones.  It is almost a performance in itself when we set up the table, ink up the plate and help to press the hands on the ink and paper.  It can be an emotional, meaningful moment and lasting memory“.

Festival of the Mind will take place between 20th and 30th September 2018.  It is a Sheffield wide festival organised by University of Sheffield.

(pictured: patient Doris Chapman and granddaughter Sarah Dolman with their handprint)