Taking art and music outside for our first ever St George’s Arts Week!

12 August 2021
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Last week the hospital gardens at St George’s and Queen Mary’s were transformed into a stage for the first ever St George’s Arts Week. Here our Arts Coordinator Grace shares more on the success of the week.

For our first Arts Week we took inspiration from the hospital gardens and the wellbeing benefits of spending time outdoors. We invited artists and partners from a range of creative disciplines to respond to the theme of nature, encouraging staff, patients and visitors to look at and experience the hospital’s green spaces in new ways.

The week began with a new commission by talented illustrator Isabella Mitchell who designed and painted a temporary mural on the first Floor Corridor of Lanesborough Wing. Titled ‘Bringing The Outside In’, Isabella was inspired by spending time in the Lord Harold & Mrs Lambert Water Garden, using bright tones and a calming rhythm.

Visual arts continued to be popular throughout the week, as textile designer Nicky Simpson led a drop-in botanical bunting making workshop using foliage from the St George’s site, later displayed in the Wellbeing Garden. Across the courtyard in Atkinson Morley Wing we worked with Honey Bunch LDN to guide staff through creating their own floral buttonholes with dried flowers to be showcased on their uniforms, or perhaps more creatively, on their heads…

“Lovely break to my working day, actually getting away from the desk and having some creative time was super fun!”

Wednesday boasted a ‘Celebration of Singing’ as we hosted Opera Holland Park to perform in the Water Garden at St George’s and courtyard space at Queen Mary’s Hospital, sharing familiar classics from the musicals alongside more traditional opera repertoire. In the evening, we brought our Staff Choir together for the first time since lockdown in the Water Garden, putting a smile on both the faces of participants and those in the surrounding offices!

“What an amazing opera performance, it cheered all of the patients up and was a lovely touch to the afternoon”

Thursday continued on a musical theme with live harp music from Catrin Meek at Queen Mary’s, under the shade of the courtyard trees. Over at St George’s, on a perhaps louder note, we enjoyed Steel Pans workshops led by Kinetika Bloco with staff and visitors working together to learn a range of simple pieces and listen to a few requests (did we hear Sweet Caroline..?). In the evening Lucy Ribeiro hosted a mindful looking Staff Arts Club, focusing on a natural still life from our art collection.

Friday was our busiest day yet – we had more harp music in the Atkinson Morley Wing, and throughout the day Isabella Mitchell was stationed in the Wellbeing Garden, encouraging participants to create botanical drawings inspired by the wonderful flowerbeds. As a finale to the week we were joined at Queen Mary’s, and later at St George’s, by Akademi Dance who performed a debut South Asian dance which told the story of mother-nature.

“I hadn’t realised how much I needed to reconnect with art and was glad I did!  The person I spoke to was lovely and I had an absolutely amazing time sketching in the sun!  It was brilliant and very much lifted my spirits!”

Staff take part in a botanical drawing workshop with artist Isabella Mitchell

Drawing in the sun in the Wellbeing Garden

Steel pans workshops led by Kinetika Bloco

South Asian dances at Queen Mary's and St George's Hospitals with Akademi Dance

Live harp music by Catrin Meek at Queen Mary's Hospital

 

Adding the finishing touches to Isabella Mitchell's new mural

 

Textile Designer Nicky Simpson leads botanical bunting making workshops at St George's Hospital

Live opera with Opera Holland Park at Queen Mary's and St George's Hospitals

Find more images of the events throughout the week here. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful partners, artists and internal colleagues for everything they have brought to the week and to you all, for taking part!

Arts St George’s is part of St George’s Hospital Charity. To find out more about the work of the Arts team, please follow us on Twitter and Instagram @artsstgeorges or email arts@stgeorges.nhs.uk

 

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