Autumn News from Art at the Heart of the RUH
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Art at the Heart of the RUH (AATH) and Bath Spa University (BSU) celebrated the successful Fusion exhibition in true style in late September and we were delighted that Vice Chancellor of BSU Prof Christina Slade and Dean of Art and Design Anita Taylor were able to attend. I had the privilege of taking Anita on one of several tours that evening and the event was opened with an inspiring speech by Anita. Heather Mckay read extracts from letters by Kathleen Ainsworth, written during the 1st World War and her time as a VAD nurse; these were very poignant and also relevant as we are planning an exhibition around the War Hospital which was built on the Combe Park site of the current RUH.

The Somerset Art Works (SAW) Exhibition has been installed in the central gallery and we look forward to a colourful and inspiring interpretation of the south west landscape. The exhibition will run until January and there will be an extension of this exhibition showing at CircleBath, I am pleased to say that we have a contract with Circle to provide 2 exhibitions a year.

We would like to thank the Friends of the RUH for their ongoing support towards our exhibitions programme and Monahan’s of Bath for their support towards SAW.

We were also very pleased to welcome MP for Bath, Ben Howlett to the RUH for a tour of our exhibitions programme and see some of the beautiful work that has been made during Stitch in Time Workshops on Combe Ward for older patients. These are now permanently installed in the corridor directly outside Combe Ward (B17).
Hetty Dupays, Arts Programme Manager

Exhibition Programme
Autumn (9th October 2015 – 15th January 2016)

Time & Place - Somerset Art Works
Central Corridor


Art at the Heart is delighted to be showing a beautiful collection of abstract landscapes by SAW (Somerset Art Works) this autumn, kindly sponsored by Friends of the RUH and Monahans, Chartered Accountants in Bath.
This exhibition explores how artists have been inspired by landscapes, seasons and nature both real and imaginary. The pieces selected are abstract, contemporary, representational or even of another world. Somerset Art Works Artist Members live and work across the County of Somerset. SAW is an artist-led organisation and Somerset’s only countywide agency dedicated to developing the visual arts.

A Private View was held on Wednesday 21st October for both sponsors and artists to see the artworks on display in the main corridors. 
Guests included sponsors from Monahans, Lizzie Thomas and Dominic Bourquin, RUH Friends Chairman Barbara Webber, The Chairman of B&NES, Councillor Ian Gilchrist and Bath RUH Chairman Brian Stables, as well as Somerset Art Works Creative Director Carol Carey. Thanks to all who attended and we hoped you enjoyed the evening.

‘Overheard someone saying “This is more like an art gallery than a hospital” It’s great, keep it happening.’ Visitor

Fusion - Where Two Minds Collide

A multi-disciplinary collaboration between Art at the Heart and Bath Spa University

Art at the Heart and Bath Spa University celebrated the successful Fusion exhibition in late September and a film was made of the evening with thanks to 35mil Photography. There were speeches by Director of Estates and Facilities, Howard Jones, Fusion Judge Mike Osborn, RUH Consultant Psychologist and BSU Dean of Art and Design Anita Taylor. Thank you to Art at the Heart Volunteer and Bath Spa Exhibition Co-ordinator, Fiona Costelloe and all the students who took part and came along to the celebration event. 


The benefits of music and visual arts at the RUH

Visual or a performance, expressive or environmental, arts ultimately create an impact. By providing an arts programme at the RUH, all staff, patients and visitors have the opportunity to benefit from as well as make positive changes throughout the hospital. Whether it’s support for patients, music entertainment for visiting families and their loved ones, or enhancements to the environment and waiting areas, Art at the Heart aims to keep, and further progress that all important positive impact throughout the RUH community. 

Our pARTicipate programme is all about learning and getting involved. Musician in Residence, Frankie sings old classics such as “Fly me to the Moon” so that elderly patients can sing along, tap their feet and enjoy the music with their visiting friends and family. For patients living with terminal or life-limiting conditions, a regular programme of interactive music sessions can have therapeutic benefits and enhance quality of life.

Similarly, children benefit from our Soundbite programme. “Frankie came into the Children’s ward with her ukulele and sang a range of wonderful songs, all favourites of my daughter, in her beautiful voice! She stayed for 30 mins and bought absolute joy to us all.” Artist in Residence, Edwina also works wonders on the Children’s ward with her Artsparks workshops for children, young people and their families. She introduces a range of materials and everyone has the opportunity to either take part in her group projects or work individually on their very own masterpiece.

"Live” Art – fresh and inspiring! Cheered up a visitor…it makes a difference to a somewhat awkward environment to be in alone whilst your wife is in a ward.’ Visitor

Stitch in Time & Artsparks

Artist in Residence, Edwina Bridgeman has been introducing the technique of stick weaving to patients on the Children’s Ward. It is suitable for all ages and the technique is really simple. The children have created a series of ‘Conversation Pieces’ in conjunction with the Elders on Combe Ward.
The repetitive nature of the technique seems to be very conductive to conversation with many of the older patients reminiscing about their childhoods. The Stitch in Time team recorded their stories on a large sheet of acetate placed on the table. Often new patients are prompted to tell their own stories having read the words of others.  All the while the weaving is developing. The patients weave strips and Edwina sews them together, creating large abstract works. It has become a true collaboration between the elders, children and young people.
Keeping with simple materials, the children have also been transforming giant cardboard boxes into dolls houses, their imaginations are wonderful and the Playroom on the ward really celebrates the children’s creativity.


All up and coming performances take place in the main atrium, between 1-1:30pm, before moving onto the hospital wards.
Tuesday 10th November
Marick and Louise
Tuesday 8th December
Francesca K
Tuesday 22nd December

"It was so lovely listening to music before our appointment.
My baby loved it too! Thank you" Patient

Capital Projects

Art within the built environment

Art at the Heart’s Marketing and Audience Development Manager, Diane has designed hoardings for the Capital Projects new Pharmacy building to decorate and inform the RUH community what is in store in the coming years. The hoardings showcase seven different designs.


RUH Musician in Residence on India adventure of a lifetime to raise funds for Cancer Centre

Art at the Heart Musician in Residence, Frankie Simpkins has swapped her ukulele for walking boots this week as she is taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal 2015 Dalai Lama trek to raise money for the new RUH Cancer Care Centre. Frankie’s talent is singing and performing, and by taking part in this trek she hopes to raise awareness of not only her role, but the role the arts has to play across the hospital.

Art at the Heart aims to draw upon the many benefits of music and art to help create a pioneering Centre that complements the existing high quality care for patients at the Hospital.
You can still help Frankie raise money for this great cause by donating directly to her fundraising page - JustGiving sends your donation straight to The Forever Friends Appeal and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more. Many thanks for your support!
The Forever Friends Appeal is the charity for the Royal United Hospital.

Christmas maybe coming (along with the temptation of mince pies!) but why not do something different this winter and sign-up for a Charity Challenge. The Forever Friends Appeal is now recruiting for the 2016 Vitality Bath Half Marathon and the 2016 Walk of Life. Keep fit and fundraise for a cause close to your heart at the same time! Early bird offers available this winter, run as an individual or get together with your colleagues and join our Corporate Challenge!

If you would like to support the Arts programme you can make a donation, take part in an event or find out many more ways to get involved. Whichever way you chose, you will be helping us maintain and continue this valuable service for for the benefit of patients, staff and visitors.

Can you help?

We are always looking for inspiring, motivated and knowledgeable individuals to volunteer or join the Arts Strategy Group. 

If you’re interested in becoming involved in our work or feel you have something to offer please get in touch with our Arts Programme Manager Hetty Dupays on hetty.dupays@nhs.neor call 01225 824987.

If you would like to donate money which will help us maintain and continue the arts programme then you can do so by clicking on the Donate button below or filling out our Sales and Donations form. Another way you can help us out is by purchasing art work as a commission goes straight into the Art at the Heart fund.

We welcome your feedback!

We always aim to enhance the look and feel of the hospital with art and to deliver more arts projects to support the healing of patients.

We have feedback cards situated along the RUH main corridors and welcome your feedback on the exhibition programme, art workshops and music performances so please let us know your thoughts.

Alternatively you can email Diane Samways, Marketing and Audience Development Manager on
Copyright © 2013 Art at the Heart of the RUH, Charity No. 1058323, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Art at the Heart of the RUH
2nd Floor, Bath & Wessex House
Royal United Hospital NHS Trust
Combe Park
T: 01225 824 987

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