We have a variety of creative arts projects taking place across our inpatient sites and also in community settings.
At The Redwoods Centre we have a Monday afternoon art group – which is currently being supported by funds from the Big Lottery through a partnership with Creative Inspiration Shropshire – an independent CIC who focus on providing creative opportunities for all to support health and wellbeing in Shropshire. The art group goes under the title of Wellbeing Art Groups and in association we also have two groups running in the community: at Severn Fields Health Village on a Friday am (10.30-12.30) and at Oakengates Theatre, Telford on a Thursday am (10.30-12.30). The groups are run by experienced artist Jean Mills plus Sarah Evans (silk painting) and Rachel Byron (experienced art therapist and artist).
At St George’s Hospital on a Thursday lunchtime we have an art group run by Debbie Todd for adult acute inpatients; on Norbury ward we have Simon Watson who runs an art group and a music group for inpatients. At George Bryan Centre we are currently running some creative art sessions that link with a Tamworth-wide project called Mercian Mosaic.
This is a community project involving many schools and organisations in Tamworth as part of the Art in Unusual Places project. It is being delivered by Arts and Events at Tamworth Council and funded by Arts Council England.
Arts for Health’s Helen Wilson initiated the first session with service users at George Bryan Centre. They created the flower mosaics shown below and are now working on 4 large squares in black and gold with the name George Bryan Centre.
Ward staff have also become involved with the project and are working with the service users regularly on it as it has proved to be very therapeutic for everyone on the wards.
The art work from all groups taking part in the project will be displayed at Tamworth Castle in summer 2018.
Unfortunately after a very successful number of years of supporting this scheme, Arts for Health has had to change the way we support wards in accessing art materials and equipment.
We are still supporting wards with our Photo Box kit – which provides digital cameras, printers and project ideas to ward staff to carry out a successful project with inpatients. The kit is available for all wards in St George’s in Stafford and also a separate kit for all wards at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury.
Wards can now order art materials through our eprocurement system with an online catalogue and selected list of basic materials.
Part of our work involves curating exhibitions at a range of locations around the Trust. More often than not this is artwork created by service users as part of a project and this naturally tends to be exhibited on the wards where service users can get the most enjoyment from it.
Our regular art competition is the other main source of the artwork for exhibitions. We have built up a body of work from the competitions, some of which is currently on show in the foyer at St Chad's and in reception at Mellor House. We strive to refresh this work when we can. The exhibition in Mellor House of the 2011 art competition entries will make way for pictures from this year's competition, due to be launched later on in the year.
We do also exhibit work in less public-facing areas of the Trust such as the office corridors at Mellor House in Stafford.