Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Artist's Uncovered: Olivia Irvine

Our ‘Artist Uncovered’ for June is Scottish painter and artist Olivia Irvine. Irvine’s work is a fascinating inclusion in the Art in Healthcare’s collection. One part is due to her art, which I’ll discuss in a moment; the other is that her professional and artistic career combines art with healthcare. Initially she pursued a career in medicine, studying and volunteering as an auxiliary nurse during the summer months; however after realising where her true passion lied she switched to study drawing and painting at the Edinburgh School of Art. The experiences she had while working and studying in medicine gave her a real interest in issues involving art and healthcare institutions.

Irvine paints a whole manner of different situations and draws from inspiraion from across the world. The three paintings in Art in Healthcare's collection are all inspired by gardens. Each one is an image of the outside world which contains its own unique metaphor. For example ‘Kite flying’ is a symbol of freedom. The monoprint depicts the idyllic scene of two children flying a kite in a lush green field. It is an uplifting and bright image that allows for nostalgic response as it reflects an enjoyable children’s pastime.

Kite Flying
Olivia Irvine

‘How does your garden grow’  is a rather intriguing image, an insight into the artist’s memory as she paints a scene from her early childhood. The landscape here is one she used to spend time in as a little girl and the painting explores how the centre piece of that landscape changed from a sandpit to a flower bed. The painting is abstract and multilayered with different tones and shades, playing on light vs. dark. The feelings she explores with this image are this idea that landscape can grow and change simultaneously to us growing up and changing as people.

 ‘I want to invoke a psychological response’

How Does Your Garden Grow
Olivia Irvine

‘Another metophoric painting of Irvine's we have in Art in Healthcare's collection is 'The heat of the moment’ . This simple painting of a young tree surrounding by a metal protector acts as an artistic metaphor for protecting oneself against adversity. This is my personal favourite image out of the three as I feel it perfectly sums up Irvine’s artistic inspiration and practise. She takes a simple and familiar landscape and creates a pictorial language that conveys a comforting and positive dialogue. I believe this is one of the many reasons her work is so suited to Art in Healthcare.
The Heat of the Moment
Olivia Irvine

Olivia Irvine’s paintings are colourful and interesting additions to healthcare settings. They invoke an optimistic and affirmative message that is so important when being exhibited in spaces that may traditionally hold negative connotations. Irvine's relatable and familiar pictures are a very welcomed addition to both the Art in Healthcare collection and the healthcare settings they are displayed in.
‘It is great for patients, visitors and staff. It makes the place looked cared for.’

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Hard Rock Cafe: Dining with Art in Healthcare

In recognition of the National Volunteer’s Week from
1st - 7th June, Art in Healthcare were treated to a special evening hosted by the Hard Rock Café in Edinburgh. The HRC provided a fantastic complimentary dinner for some of Art in Healthcare’s dedicated volunteers and thanks to the outgoing and friendly restaurant staff, the evening was a great success.  
Art in Healthcare's team of volunteers

Not only was it an amazing gesture of thanks to all of the hard graft the volunteers have put in over the last couple of months, but it was also an opportunity for Art in Healthcare’s volunteers to meet one another and see the diverse and interesting community who contribute to the charity and its work.

At Art in Healthcare we rely on our volunteers to help out with a number of projects, from restoring paintings, to hanging pictures, and carrying out fundraising talks. If you’d like to get involved in our volunteer programme and think you have something to offer Art in Healthcare then please get in contact with our Outreach Manager, Amelia on

We would like to thank the team at Hard Rock Café for their generosity and a fantastic night and hope to do another event for our dedicated volunteers soon.