6 October 2021
A new art exhibition with the theme of ‘community’ is on display at Foss Park Hospital, a state of the art mental health hospital and research space in York.
Located in the main entrance, the exhibition has been co-ordinated with the arts strategy team, occupational therapists and ward staff at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. It has been produced in partnership with Converge at York St John University, which provides courses for adults who have experienced mental ill health.
It includes work from hospital patients, Converge members and local people, as well as hosting lunchtime musical concerts and video recordings that include students with lived experience of mental ill health dancing to music and reading poetry.
Nick Rowe, director of Converge, said: “Art making is an essential and ancient human activity and is known to bring benefits to mental health.
“It can help express our feelings and thoughts, as well as celebrate the beauty of the world. Art-making can also offer a sense of achievement, fulfilment and self-confidence.”
Examples of the artwork include a murmuration of birds, a version of Picasso’s painting ‘friendship’ and a large kite in the atrium. Each piece includes creative writing alongside them.
Exhibition themes are decided by the ‘curators’ group comprising hospital staff, experts by experience, trust volunteers, community artists, Converge and York St John University staff. The autumn theme will be ‘rest and retreat before the spring’.
Liz Herring, head of adult mental health services in North Yorkshire and York at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Seeing the inspiring art on display is wonderful; it’s very uplifting for everyone and makes a difference to patients, visitors and staff.
“In the future, we hope to invite local people into the hospital to view the exhibitions, but due to the pandemic, restrictions are unfortunately still in place and we encourage people not to visit the hospital unless you are visiting a patient or have an appointment.”
The colourful and creative work will be on display until November 2021.