Artwork of the Month: The Gratitude Prints by Hannah Coulson01 September 2021
The Story Behind the Works
In Spring 2021, the Macmillan Team at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust approached St George’s Hospital Charity looking to honour and thank their Cancer Nurse Specialists (CNS) for their astonishing work and dedication in their roles.
The team show exceptional commitment and compassion on a daily basis. Over the past 18 months many of the team were redeployed to support other services, adapting rapidly to changing circumstances and colleagues, whilst also taking on personal sacrifices outside of work.
To share this gratitude Arts St George’s commissioned artist Hannah Coulson to collaborate with the Macmillan Lead Cancer Team to create a meaningful and lasting artwork to share with the team.
Setting up consultations between the artist and the team and guided by Arts St George’s, Hannah prepared prompts to encourage the sharing of feelings and memories which connect the staff. Later piecing together the responses, Hannah formed three designs.
The first two ‘Above and Beyond Such a Strong Bond’ and ‘Kindness, Strength, Resilience & Team Spirit’ illustrate poignant words and phrases from the conversations. The final design ‘We Link And Support Each Other’ demonstrates the interconnectivity of each team member and the co-dependent make up of their community. Hannah states:
“When I spoke with members of the Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse Team I was really struck by how proud they were of their colleagues. They spoke of the Macmillan Centre Team as a supportive and resilient family, a team with 'such a strong bond'. Inspired by this sentiment, the artwork represents 41 individuals working together.”
Alongside creating bespoke greetings cards using the designs from the project for the team to write messages and send to their colleagues, the larger framed artworks are now displayed in the Macmillan Centre for a regular reminder of their value both during the pandemic and beyond.
‘We Link And Support Each Other’ (Hannah Coulson, 2021) hung in the Macmillan Centre at St George's Hospital
'Kindness, Strength, Resilience & Team Spirit' & Above And Beyond Such A Strong Bond' (Hannah Coulson, 2021) hung in the Macmillan Centre Office.
About the Artist
Hannah Coulson is a Scottish artist, illustrator and educator.
Hannah studied Visual Communication at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art. She makes colourful collages, bold screen prints and picturebook illustrations for clients including the BBC, M&S, Habitat and Conran & Partners.
She is an Associate Artist in the Tate St Ives Artists Programme, and leads FuelRCA, a professional development programme for students studying at the RCA. She lives and works in South London. instagram: @hannah_ coulson
Arts St George’s is the arts programme for St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is part of St George’s Hospital Charity. To find out more about the arts programme, please follow us on socials: @artstgeorges or email firstname.lastname@example.org.