Palliative Care Artwork unveiled by Chief Executive Kirsten Major

pictured from left to right: Sister Samantha Turner, Matron Julia Hanvere, artist Brian Whitmore and Chief Executive Kirsten Major.

Our award winning ‘In & Out of Hospital Arts Programme’ – funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Arts Council England – is nearing completion and we were excited to install the legacy artworks, made by the artists, inspired by the participating patients, visitors and staff.  Chief Executive, Kirsten Major, attended the event and spoke passionately about how the arts can help anyone to relax and enjoy themselves and how wonderful it was to be able to offer patients, visitors and staff the opportunity to have time away from pain, worries and anxiety.  Matron Julia Hanvere, Sister Samantha Turner and the artists, Brian Whitmore and Jane Forster from arts collaborative Redfolio also contributed to the event.

Jane and Brian spent nearly a year on the ward where they delivered their creative crafts workshops every Wednesday afternoon.  All the people who participated in their workshop enjoyed making beautiful and meaningful artworks that were displayed throughout the ward.

One of the weekly creative services Redfolio offered was taking hand prints of patients, their relatives and/or close friends.  Their names were calligraphed on the prints and given to the patients and relatives to keep.  The artists made copies of these prints and used these for two large scale artworks for the Unit.  One work consists of 32 segments of handprints and was  made especially for the ward’s unique curved wall.  Brain and Jane also created two lightboxes with large handprints that gently light up the entrance to the ward, providing a warm welcome to anyone who visits.

At the start of their project, the artists had access to over 300 recorded life stories from former patients, collected by the University of Sheffield’s Oral History Project.  Snippets from these stories, mixed in with extracts of stories shared by the patients and their loved ones, appear in the work and run along the lines in the hands.

We hope that work will make people stop and read, reflect and smile.  It may instigate new conversations between current patients and their loved ones.  It will hopefully also remind the staff of the people that passed through their hands, people who were touched by the care they received.

Read more about the work we do on http://arts.sth.nhs.uk or follow us on Instagram @arts_at_sth