Curator Talk: Hospital Rooms

Wednesday 17 October, 6 – 7:30pm

Salon 18
Free & open to all

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‘Hospital Rooms brings extraordinary art to people who are cared for in mental health hospitals, commissioning world class artists to work with mental health patients and staff to radically transform locked and secure mental health units with museum quality and compliant art. We do this by programming series of tailored workshops through which artists and unit communities can collaborate. We make challenging clinical environments imaginative, thoughtful and rejuvenative.’

The charity was co-founded by artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White after a close friend of theirs was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, explaining that the environment she stayed in was cold, clinical and sterile. The pair undertook extensive research and found that this personal experience was in fact a wide spread need. During previous projects, patients with severe and on-going mental need have described mental health environments as being ‘like prison’, ‘horrible’, ‘hostile’ or ‘like being in a vacuum’. 

Niamh and Tim believe that by putting artwork that might ordinarily be found in the National Portrait Gallery or in the Tate Gallery in spaces that provide care to some of our most vulnerable and isolated members of the community, we can instil people with value, dignity and wellbeing.

During their talk, Niamh and Tim will be sharing their experience of working in a variety of mental health settings to commission museum quality artwork for challenging clinical environments as well as the co-production process and the impact the work has had.

Salon 18 forms part of Making Ways, a new programme supported by Sheffield Culture Consortium through Arts Council England to showcase, celebrate and develop the exceptional contemporary visual art produced in the city.

Images by Peter Martin