At the start of the year, local NHS Trust, Southern Health was just one of five UK trusts to win funding for an exciting arts project organised by national charity ‘Hospital Rooms’ – and this month the project gets underway!
Following a competitive application process, Southern Health’s Calmore-based Bluebird House was selected for a £45,000 project to transform its clinical environment with extraordinary artworks by world-class artists, in collaboration with the unit’s staff and young patients.
Over the next six months, artists Charley Peters, Richard Woods, Ryan Mosely, Simon Bayliss, Tim A Shaw and Yukako Shibata will transform communal spaces in the ten-bed forensic adolescent mental health unit.
Bluebird House is the second child and adolescent mental health unit to be selected by Hospital Rooms and the first collaboration with Southern Health. The unit offers round-the-clock nursing care, schooling and structure to adolescents with severe and long-standing mental health problems who may have come into contact with the criminal justice system, with the average stay of one year. As part of Hospital Rooms’ commitment to co-production and collaboration, patients, staff and artists will take part in a series of art workshops over the coming months to discuss and inspire the work that will be created.
Karen Dixon, Southern Health’s Clinical Service Manager (CAMHS), commented: “Anticipation has been high and we’re delighted the project is now starting at Bluebird House. The charity has carefully selected artists which they feel have the ability to speak to our vulnerable and hard to reach patients most effectively so this is an exciting time for everyone at the unit.”
Hospital Rooms has chosen a diverse roster of exceptional artists, each with a unique and playful approach. For example:
- Richard Woods is a graduate from the Slade School of Fine Art, his practice focuses on sculpture where he creates architectural installations that propose an ‘absurd’ twist on the cult of home improvement.
- Ryan Mosely is a painter who is motivated by the surreal world, often exploring invented characters which culminate in imagery that is both archaic and futuristic at once.
- Yukako Shibata is a Japanese, London-based artist who creates tactile sculpture and serene, tranquil paintings, her work pivots between calming and playful - often focusing on repetition and touch.
An exhibition celebrating the completion of the project at Bluebird House will open to the public in Southampton in early 2020.