St George’s Arts Week 2022 Round Up!

15 July 2022
Younger patients get involved with holding the post bird.jpg

Music, dance, puppetry and visual arts united the communities at St George’s & Queen Mary’s Hospitals last week, as Arts St George’s hosted our 2022 St George’s Arts Week.

Our 2022 St George’s Arts Week theme of ‘Togetherness’ can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways, which were all explored throughout the week. On the Monday, we encouraged people to make art together.

Outside Grosvenor Wing at our ‘Community Stage’ area, textile artist Nicky Simpson led a Collective Botanical Banner Making Workshop, inviting passers-by to print leaf and flower shapes, using fabric dyes and a specialist heat press, to be displayed throughout the week.

On the wards, our partners Akademi Dance brought two talented Kathak (classical Indian) dancers to perform for patients (including some audience participation!). The pair concluded their day by performing for the wider community outside. The stark visual contrast of clinical backgrounds and beautiful, bright costumes were a fitting introduction to our week of creativity at the hospital!

Day One Photo Gallery

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Image Gallery

On day two, we collaborated with our Community & Events Team to celebrate the ‘NHS Big Tea’. To mark the 74th anniversary of the NHS, staff organised tea parties across the Trust, embracing togetherness by spending time with colleagues.

To make this extra special, we brought Resident Musician, Jelly Cleaver & harpist Catrin Meek to the party, performing exclusive collaborations in offices, Peabody’s café and outdoor locations. To end the day of music, we hosted a trio of jazz musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance who performed under our Community Stage Gazebo – celebrating the teamwork required for improvisational music styles such as soul, jazz and blues.

Day Two Photo Gallery

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Image Gallery

The celebration of teamwork was also adopted on Wednesday as we began by hosting two Team Building sessions led by ‘Sketch Appeal’. Our Neuro Therapies and Medical Records teams (and later our hospital school pupils!) were guided through a range of drawing exercises including a ‘Drawing Disco’ and drawing experimental portraits.

Meanwhile, downstairs Opera Holland Park was upping the volume as two vocalists entertained those waiting outside M&S with an Opera Recital. Later in the day, they headed to Queen Mary’s Hospital, where patients enjoyed singing along to the classics – especially Edelweiss from the Sound of Music. Simultaneously at St George’s, we welcomed pupils from Bounce Theatre to perform poems based on their experiences of Tooting, in a premier performance celebrating the local area.

Day Three Photo Gallery

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Image Gallery

Queen Marys’ continued to be a venue for the Arts Week on Thursday, as we brought our Resident Artists – Rachel Rothwell, Jelly Cleaver & Josh Bilton over to the Roehampton site to lead activities on the wards.

Over at St George’s, we hosted ‘Heart & Lung Songs’, a vocal group for St George’s Outpatients, facilitated by Katie Rose. The group led us in a cheerful summer sing-along – ‘We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday’, a particularly fitting choice as the weather began to heat up for our final day.

Day Four Photo Gallery

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Image Gallery

With four packed-out days under our belts, we were not ready to slow down for day 5. Friday was one of our busiest days yet. We welcomed our very own ‘St George’s Post Bird’ – a bespoke (& beautiful) puppet, created by puppeteer Joni-Rae Carrack, which spent the day flying around the wards, inviting patients to write messages to be delivered to others on site – be it another patient, staff member or visitor.

Outside, our friends from the St George’s University Bhangra Team braved the heat and performed a spectacular set of dances, their bright costumes sparkling in the sun.

Finally, it was time to conclude St George’s Arts Week 2022. Our Staff Choir, led by musician Georgia Duncan, assembled at our community stage, performing a range of repertoire they have learnt over the term. The highlight – a song they had written themselves – centred around the theme of Friendship, and what it means to be a good friend.  

This wonderful collective of staff was an especially fitting way to end a brilliant week which used arts and creativity to celebrate and highlight the interconnectivity of our hospital community, and how we support each other, day in, day out, at St George’s.

Final Day Photo Gallery

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Image Gallery

Thank you to the National Community Lottery Fund for their generous grant which funded St George’s Arts Week, all our talented artists and partners for their contributions, and of course our patients, visitors and staff for taking part, especially staff who organised their own fringe events – we look forward to growing this next year.

Arts St George’s is not just for St George’s Arts Week – we produce a year-round programme of creative activities for patients, staff and visitors. 

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All photos (C) Benedict Johnson

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