Hospital Rooms at Springfield
Creative spaces for healing
Hospital Rooms is an arts and mental health charity that believes in the power of art to bring joy, create hope, support healing and offer dignity to people in their most vulnerable moments.
Their vision is for a world where people in need of care for their mental health are immersed in rejuvenative environments, enabled to engage in collaborative artistic activities and empowered to imagine new possibilities. This is a vision we wholeheartedly support at South West London and St George’s.
In collaboration with patients and staff across our Trust, Hospital Rooms led an innovative programme to co-design vibrant and uplifting artworks that have helped to shape a new creative landscape for mental healthcare in South West London.
In December 2021, the Trust partnered with arts and mental health charity Hospital Rooms for their most ambitious project to date. As part of the development of our two new mental health facilities, the Trinity and Shaftesbury buildings, we commissioned Hospital Rooms to produce 20 bespoke artworks to transform how are our facilities are experienced by patients, service users and staff.
“Research has long demonstrated the positive connection between art and mental health – but this project is about so much more than putting art on walls to make people feel good. To create healing environments which genuinely support recovery, we needed to go beyond delivering modern buildings.
“What makes this project so special and unique is that our patients and service users are at the heart of it. Co-production has been key throughout the process, with over 120 workshops held with patients to ensure that the final artworks are genuinely informed by what they want to see.” – Sharon Spain, Executive Director of Nursing & Quality
Hospital Rooms enlisted an internationally acclaimed and diverse roster of artists, many of whom put vulnerable people at the centre of their work and specialise in participatory practice. Through a series of workshops, the artists worked directly with patients and staff to come up with the final artworks.
“Joining the Hospital Rooms project has been lifechanging for me. The opportunities I’ve had to meet new people, learn new skills and spend time being creative has had enormous positive effects on my mental wellbeing and recovery. Without Hospital Rooms I don’t think I would have recovered and got back to normal life as quickly as I did.” – Liam, service user
The project followed four overarching phases including research and development, co-production, installation and public engagement.
- Hospital Rooms conducted 25 interviews and led 20 creative sessions in person across inpatient wards and the Recovery College, and virtually with involvement teams. They also formed a Lived Experience Advisory Group. Their learning during this period informed the artist selection, the co-production process and the location and types of artworks to be commissioned.
- The Hospital Rooms team, artists and cultural partners led over 120 art workshops across inpatient services, outpatient services, the Recovery College and in the community to develop the concepts for the artworks. 10 Lived Experience Advisory Group sessions were held during this process.
- Artwork proposals were developed by the artists, patient communities and the Hospital Rooms team. These were reviewed by the Trust’s Design Authority Group.
- Hospital Rooms and artists installed 22 artworks inside the new Trinity and Shaftesbury Buildings
Hospital Rooms has also donated art materials and their Digital Art School resources for eight new activity rooms, and they will be providing training for occupational therapy staff and activity coordinators to lead Digital Art School sessions.
“Our first ever Hospital Rooms project took place at the Trust’s Phoenix Unit. Six years later, we are delighted that our most ambitious project to date is a collaboration with everyone at the Trust.
“After more than 120 artist-led creative workshops that took place at the hospital with service users and staff, we are now well underway installing 20 extraordinary, co-created artworks throughout the new Trinity and Shaftesbury buildings. From murals to video installations, wall sculptures to opera, there are many firsts for us, and we are proud to be part of this new vision for a mental health hospital. We have loved working so closely with everyone at Springfield Hospital over the last 18 months.” – Niamh White and Tim A Shaw, co-founders of Hospital Rooms