Professional artists donate their work to mental health ward in London

One of London’s psychiatric wards has been redecorated with work donated by prize-winning artists and workshops for patients.

© Adrian Wressell, Heart of England NHSFT. Wellcome Images

A psychiatric ward housing schizophrenic patients in Springfield University hospital in Tooting is now covered with a mixture of pieces from artists including the Turner Prize-winning Assemble, photographer Nick Knight, and the patients themselves.

First project of its kind ran by charity Hospital Rooms, the initiative enabled professional artists to donate or work on pieces for the ward and also host workshops allowing patients to not only work on their own art, but also improve their well-being.

Will, a resident on the Phoenix ward, said to The Guardian of his new environment: “I like everything about it. It makes me feel good. It’s calmed the place down and the colours are more cool. It was a privilege to work with such talented people.”

The project funded by the charity Morris Markowe League of Friends of Springfield University hospital and the Arts Council England, initially originated from an idea developed by artist Tim A Shaw, and Niamh White, a curator.

“We wanted to bring quality artists to co-produce with service users, psychiatrists and occupational therapists so we could create things that work, so we could elevate these environments and think about value,” said White.

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