Lock down has been particularly tough on our patients as they have not been able to go out into the community and take part in activities that they both enjoy and which also support their recovery. So for the therapy staff and patients at Huntercombe Roehampton joining the free ‘Digital Art School’ run by the charity ‘Hospital Rooms’ seemed like a wonderful idea.
The charity, which has been running for several years, was originally set up by a group of artists who believed in the link between creativity and good mental health. Their aim was to improve the physical environments of hospitals to make them spaces where patients might feel more relaxed. This has led to many projects and site-based murals in inpatient settings across the UK.
The idea for the digital art school, which involves international artists giving weekly tutorials over zoom, was in response to COVID-19 and it’s both easy and entirely free to join. At Huntercombe Roehampton, we’ve taken part in the weekly sessions, learned new skills and produced some really interesting art work. Furthermore, the feedback from patients has been very positive.
Whilst initially the digital art school was just available for the Summer months, such has been its success that it is now being extended into the Autumn. All you need is a suitable space in which to watch the tutorial, a tablet or laptop and a few art materials. Whilst you can see the artists, they cannot see the patients so the tutorials are completely confidential. Tutorials are also recorded and can be viewed at a later stage via YouTube. It’s a fantastic initiative and has been a great addition to the therapy programme at Roehampton and furthermore it has supported our patients wellbeing and recovery during these uncertain times.
Below is a selection of art work produced at our hospital using the online workshops