Experience : Hospital Rooms

Updated: Jan 3

The Art of Happiness : Lecture by Tim Shaw and Natalie Tilbury


Hospital Rooms is an Arts and mental health charity which promotes art as a tool to start conversations and promote mental wellbeing by transforming pyschatritric units from a cold, clinical and hostile environment. Began by artist Tim Shaw and curator Niamh White, the charity uses funding to commission artists to create site-specific work in conjunction with community inclusive workshops to change the artistic and aesthetic relationship to mental health recovery and inpatient treatment.


Questioning how can you feel valued if welcomed into a bland environment when already facing a frightening and overwhelming experience, the charity noted the use of imagery to relate to others around you and change embodiment with yourself. Using a complex structure of discussions with staff, service users, families to create spaces used for gathering communities, promoting continual awareness that art doesn't become dangerous. By creating bespoke pieces of work, the experience feels special and joyful adding humour to areas that usually are remotely accessed, adding human collaboration and home elements to form relationships. A key note was made to the "right to light" of environment and taking a slightly intimidating hostile environment into one of aesthetic vision to change the internal.


Tim drew upon the idea of forming your own "tapestry" by telling a story that you feel usually is not told within society and being taken to "see" a space rather than intimidating inclusion. The idea of taking this work further into exhibitions allows a dialogue to open up inclusive spaces to the public and into conversation by a connection to the outside culture and world.


Hypothetical proposal for an artwork commission - Initial Ideas :


Circular yellow emblems - joy, moments, etc; referring back to Ingrid Lee Fetel

Patterns within that reflecting on growth, decay, ebbs and flow, natural shapes from a collaborative workshop

Narrative and displacement in size - patterns and stimulant

How would you want people to feel prior to psychological treatment?

- Initial assessments and feeling “on edge”

Interior, textural shapes that reflect and continue those ideas


Further Development : Accepted as part of the Installation Team and to commence late January

Lottie Matthews © 2018 
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