Friday, 18 January 2013

A busy year ahead

For the first blog this year, I asked Trevor Jones, Art in Healthcare director, what new projects we could look forward to in 2013.

Forthcoming exhibition
The first exciting event is an exhibition entitled 'Art from Art' in February of 120 artworks created in response to the AiH collection during artist-led workshops in various settings in and around Edinburgh. The November blog ‘Art in Healthcare Reaches Out’ showcased one of these workshops organised by Leo du Feu at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. 'Art from Art' will open on Friday 8 February in the Whitespace Gallery in Edinburgh, for full details see AiH page on Facebook or contact

 Rainbow Owl by Joy, aged 11
Image courtesy of Leo du Feu

Art management
One of AiH services is to manage existing art collections on behalf of health organisations, such as for instance the vast NHS Lothian collection. AiH has now been appointed Art Coordinator for NHS Fife’s Glenwood Health Centre currently being refurbished and due to reopen later this year.
Glenwood Health Centre is situated in Glenrothes, a town that has been associated with art since its planning in the post-World War II years when it appointed its first town artist, David Harding, in 1968. This was a bold and progressive appointment and Harding worked with the architects from the design stage. 

David Harding, Henge, 1970, Glenrothes public art
Image courtesy of David Harding

Harding worked closely with the people of Glenrothes and his sculptural works along with those of the artists who followed him provide us today with great art walks all around the town. For more details, see the link to the Historic Scotland publication below. It is heartening to see this tradition being carried forward today and that art is part of the planning of the Health Centre rather than as an afterthought.

Acquisition from emerging artist
Trevor also tells me that, thanks to funding from the Hope Scott Trust, AiH will be able to purchase artworks from this year’s New Contemporaries exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. This exhibition, held in March, shows the works of some sixty artists, all recent graduates from the five art colleges in Scotland.

Heather Pugh, Going, Going, Gone, mixed media, 37 x 42 x 8.5 cm
Art in Healthcare Collection

Acquisition of artworks from emerging artists’ is an excellent way of keeping collections fresh. Last year, AiH purchased ten collage paintings by Heather Pugh who studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. She is featured in last May’s ‘Uncovered Artist’ blog which explains her practice and inspiration from everyday objects. Her colourful and intriguing collages are now brightening up the mood of patients, staff and visitors who walk along the corridors of the Royal Victoria Building at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

Expanding the online database
AiH are planning this year to photograph, label and make accessible to viewing online all the artworks from their own collection and from the NHS Lothian collection. Together these collections represent a remarkable resource of approximately 3,500 works spanning some 400 years, thousands of artists and a breathtaking variety of genres, styles and media.

This is going to be a busy year for Art in Healthcare. You can follow all their news and projects on Facebook.

Thank you for visiting this blog and may 2013 be all you wish it to be!

Martine Foltier Pugh is a freelance writer and visual artist based in Edinburgh

Thank you to Trevor Jones for his information
and to David Harding for providing the image of Henge, one of his Glenrothes artworks

The Whitespace Gallery