Spring News from Art at the Heart of the RUH
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Spring has finally sprung and our programme once again is brimming with delights designed to please all of the senses.

Kicking off with a feast for your eyes is our up-and-coming exhibition programme and a stunning array of photography by the popular Arena Exhibition. This new series of work by the group is in conjunction with LCUK (Landscape Collective UK) and promises to be an exceptionally high standard of award winning landscape photography.

Touch, smell and taste have all been taken care of with our newly improved Participatory programme. We have steadily been extending our workshops and reach over the last few years and now boast a small team of talented and dedicated volunteers who help provide us with over 3 workshops a week. You can read more about Stitch in Time below including ways you can get involved.

Last but no means least, our Soundbite music programme continues to build momentum and for the first time in the history of Soundbite, it has now extended its reach to the Children’s Ward. You can hear our Musician in Residence Frankie on Tuesday mornings, she’ll be the one carrying a ukulele and most likely singing a selection of popular songs from Disney’s Frozen.

As usual below is a taster of our up-and-coming programme, complete with a sneak peek of our exciting summer collaboration Fusion with Bath Spa University. I hope you enjoy and feel free to get in touch if you have any feedback or suggestions. Hetty Dupays, Arts Programme Manager

Exhibition Programme

Spring - Summer  (24th April 2015 – 10th July 2015)

Arena and LCUK (Landscape Collective UK) Group
Central Corridor / Zone B / Ground Floor

Following last year’s popular and successful Arena Exhibition at the Royal United Hospitals in Bath, it is with great pleasure to welcome them back with a brand new colour show featuring work from group members Nicky Gwynn Jones, Tony Worobiec, Susan Brown, John Chamberlain, Harry Cundall, Carol Hicks and Leigh Preston.
The exhibition is in conjunction with LCUK (Landscape Collective UK) Group, an inaugural exhibition of unique and award winning landscape photography.

“I have loved the exhibition of art since I first saw it, 6-7 years ago. It always allows me to delve into a different world. Please keep it going!". Patient



A Year in the Playroom 

Art Sparks sees children and their families creating imaginative artworks in response to different themes throughout the year. The playroom is an excellent working space, children feel welcome and it is easy to dip in and out of activities.

We reach significant numbers of patients and families, averaging 12-15 a session, and 63 workshops have taken place on the Children’s ward from June – April 2015. The Artsparks gallery reaches an audience of 22,000 per year.

It is often pointed out that children don’t get the time they need to engage creatively at school. On the ward, the children have enjoyed the freedom to produce their own work in a non-judgemental setting. The children are usually very proud of their work and want to take it home with them!

Working in weekly blocks has proved more successful than fortnightly morning sessions. Projects gather momentum; work is not diluted because energy and enthusiasm are maintained.

Over the course of the year, the children and Edwina have created a library/archive of art ideas. They have documented each project starting with the Spring Tree and created an ideas sheet to leave in the playroom so that subsequent children were able to use the ideas and techniques.  Artsparks corridor, (Zone B)

“It was fantastic. My son perked up in a way that no medicine can do. Edwina had such a great range of materials, the hospital turned into heaven within minutes” Parent

Music - Dates for your diary 

April - May 2015

Bringing a diverse range of live music to communal areas of the hospital and wards.

Up and coming performances take place in the main atrium, between 1-1:30pm, unless otherwise stated below, before moving onto the hospital wards

Francesca K, Vintage Female Singer
Friday 10th April, 1-1:30pm, Atrium
Sue Caden, Harpist
Tuesday 21st April, 1-1:30pm, Atrium
Cello and Harp Duo from Live Music Now
Friday 8th May, 1-1:30pm, Atrium


Soundbite travels to the Children’s Ward

Since February our Musician in Residence Frankie Simpkins has been performing once a week on the Children’s Ward. Adding to her extensive repertoire of golden oldies, Frankie has perfected the most difficult of Disney classics such as ‘I want to be like you, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and the beautiful ‘Colours of the Wind’ whilst keeping the biggest of Frozen fans happy with the popular ‘Let it Go’.

Armed with her trusty ukulele Frankie’s flexible approach is suited to all ages and tastes and she loves to take requests. So if you happen to be on the Children’s Ward on a Tuesday morning between the hours of 10:30 – 11.30am feel free to flag her down and request a personal performance that will be sure to put a smile on your face. 

“Thank you for making our visit more pleasant. I felt priviledge to watch such a talented and beautiful voice entertain us for free”. Patient

‘A Stitch in Time’ Workshops

Art at the Heart is always creating new opportunities for patients, visitors and staff to experience and participate in the arts. Introducing creative art and textiles to patients, ‘A Stitch in Time’ workshops will now be taking place on Combe Ward every Friday morning at the Royal United Hospital.

Textile students and volunteers will provide workshops for patients on the Older People’s Unit involving a combination of activities taken from our previous project; Reflections. Activities include story-telling, poetry reading and creative writing. These activities will hopefully inspire and encourage patients to engage in conversation whilst making creative art or textile pieces.

"It is widely recognised that the arts have a key role to play in delivering an improved patient environment."

Art at the Heart encourages and supports social skills and interaction between patients.

The aims of these new workshops are to increase patients’ self-esteem and confidence by introducing them to a new skill that they can then share with their family, friends and loved ones.

If you’re interested in becoming involved in our work or feel you have something to offer please get in touch with Diane Samways our Marketing and Audience Development Manager.

Paper Birch come to the RUH

Two Masters Students, Faith Wray and Laura Venables from the Royal College of Art have been running a series of 6 creative art workshops with a theme of exploring nature with patients on Combe Ward, a dementia friendly ward for Older Patients.

Faith and Laura say they both benefit, emotionally and physically from their own artistic practice and are passionate about sharing this; therefore the planning and delivery of their own bespoke workshops came naturally. The workshops touched upon activities such as collage, paper flower making and exploring scent. Each workshop naturally developed from the previous in turn building confidence and helping the students hone their approach.

All 6 workshops were warmly received by staff who noticed a positive change in atmosphere to a happier and calmer place. In addition patients were also less likely to wonder, were more relaxed and were more likely to stay at the table and have lunch with the other patients after a workshop.

We would just like to say a big thank you to Faith and Laura, and wish them and their own creative practice ‘Paper Birch’ all the best in the future.

We cannot thank you enough for letting us be part of your Art at the Heart program, it was better than we could ever have imagined!
Laura Venables

Capital Projects

Art within the built environment


Innovative design is the key to creating a welcoming and exceptional environment for patient care. The Forever Friends Appeal aims to raise a total of £250,000 for art to create a truly pioneering Cancer Care Centre that complements the existing high quality care for patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Art at the Heart (AATH) is the official arts charity for the RUH and will ensure that there is a clear art and design strategy for the new Cancer Care Centre. Art takes many forms, and in this instance can include integrally etched windows that could act as screens, a clever use of light and colour to brighten waiting areas, small gardens, as well as stunning pieces of artwork. In addition the hospital’s art charity hopes to include stand-out sculpture, using the landscape as an integral part of the project.

AATH have already built quite a strong collection of artworks for the new Cancer Care Centre; including 'Brass Monkey' by Bruce Munro, which is a vibrant light installation that will be incorporated into the building’s landscape design.

The overall aim is to create a truly holistic healing environment, connecting the outside to the inside, capturing light into the building through glazing and layout, and to maximise views enhancing the whole hospital environment. Understanding the benefits of adding greenery into a built environment to help improve health is not a new concept. Taking on board this knowledge, the proposal is that landscape takes centre stage, driving the design both externally and internally.

The Royal United Hospitals Bath has been here for the people of Bath for generations. It owes its existence to the generosity of the community it serves, and the contributions of that community remain as important as ever. If you would like to support the arts fund or are interested in finding out how you can get involved, The Cancer Care Centre Wish List is now available by request on 01225 824987 or email



Off The Wall - 3D Pop-Up Exhibition
Lansdown Entrance, Monday 13th April, 10am - 4pm

Bath Open Studio (BOS) artists have been exhibiting a collection of artworks along our central corridors, and now with the four open art trails, Larkhall, Newbridge, Widcombe and Bear Flat commencing in May, a BOS ‘Off the Wall’ Stall Exhibition will be taking place in the RUH

The ‘Off the Wall’ Stall Exhibition will show 3D artworks from Bath Open Studio Artists. All work is for sale.

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

Art at the Heart Musician in Residence, Frankie Simpkins will be swapping her ukulele for walking boots in October 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 so she will be raising funds by busking in Bath, and hopes to raise awareness of not only her role, but the role the arts has to play across the hospital.
You can 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!

Fusion - Where Two Minds Collide

Famous British Artists Gavin Turk and Cedric Christie made a very special visit to the Royal United Hospital recently to judge student proposals for a brand new exhibition that will be launched at the RUH this summer.

Fusion ‘Where two minds collide’ is an exciting collaboration between the Royal United Hospital and Bath Spa University. Arts in Health is a growing and vibrant public sector and this exhibition gives students a chance to show their work in a hospital that has a footfall of 500,000 patients, staff and visitors per year. The judging panel also included Dr Mike Osborn, Consultant Macmillan Clinical Psychologist and Head of Capital Projects and Chair of the Arts Strategy Group, Steve Boxall.

A total of 29 submissions were selected for the exhibition. Students were invited across all disciplines Arts, Science, Education, Drama, Music, Creative writing etc. to submit their work in response to healthcare and well-being.

Fusion will be open to the public from the 24th July 2015 -16th October 2015 and Art at the Heart would like to thank Minuteman Press Bath for kindly sponsoring the print material which will go a long way in promoting this Bath Spa University exhibition.

For more dates and information please see our Fusion hand-out above, or keep up to date via our Facebook  and Twitter page.

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.

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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