The WWL Way
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Arts in Health - Spring Exhibition

Newsdate: 20 May 2015Arts in Health Spring Exhibition

This month WWL showcased another series of pieces by local artists for their Art in Health project. Art in Health is a new and exciting challenge for the Trust to help improve the environment for our patients and staff and all the people who visit our premises.

A small team, many of whom gave their time voluntarily, and led by Director of Nursing Pauline Jones and the Facilities Manager Nick Bastow worked very hard to bring together a fabulous exhibition of local art in January to launch the project.

The Winter exhibition was such a success we launched our Spring Exhibition, which opened to the public on the Friday 15 May 2015. This exhibition features Tracy Hollis Rowe and many local community artists.

The professional artist showcasing her work in the Spring Exhibition just happens to be employed by the Trust; in the Physiotherapy Department. Tracey Hollis Rowe is a noted professional artist in her own right. Alongside Tracey’s work will be the work of over 40 amateur artists the standard of which is wonderful. Most of the work on display is available to buy with a commission being donated to the Hospital Charity; Three Wishes.

Many of the pieces on display are from amateur artists and art groups from Wigan. Some of which have been produced by people living with a long term physical or mental health condition, who find painting a means of expressing themselves and gain health benefits from producing such wonderful paintings.

This connection between the arts and health is not new. The Greeks saw a clear link between art and healing. They believed that being in contact with statues and mosaics could heal the mind and body.

In Britain there have been initiatives to introduce the visual arts into medical environments for a long time. William Hogarth painted a large mural in 1735 in St Bartholomew’s hospital in London. During the Victorian times, there were attempts to brighten up some hospitals with works of art such as the decorative tiles at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

But it is really since the 1980s that the links between art and health have been seriously explored. Today a growing number of patients, health and social care professionals, researchers, policy makers, architects and planners recognise that the arts are integral to health.

There is now an overwhelming body of evidence demonstrating that participating in the arts and having access to a range of art opportunities can dramatically improve clinical outcomes and increase Arts in Health Spring Exhibitionwellbeing.

It was with this in mind that Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals introduced Art in Health not only to improve the hospital environment for patients, visitors and staff by hanging original works of art along the corridors at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, but also to enable people, who may not have the opportunity to have access to art work generally, to see and appreciate what is available locally.

At the preview event guests were entertained by a performance from The Halle Brass Quintet. This was the first endeavour to bring together music and the Arts in Health programme. In the future we will be expanding to have live lunchtime concerts and poetry readings for patients and visitors.