We are lucky enough to partner with some incredible artists as part of our Arts for All Programme. With their help and expertise, we aim to transform the patient experience at our hospitals. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak our programme is currently suspended but we look forward to welcoming all our artists back once it is safe to do so. We spoke to Charlotte Cranidge earlier in the month who, based at West Middlesex University Hospital, had been delivering a range of participatory art workshops for our older patients.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I graduated from Camberwell UAL way back in 2010 with a BA in Painting. After leaving university, I dropped the paint brushes and started experimenting with printmaking. It wasn’t long before I found myself using this practice as a way to engage others in art – mainly because of its powerful wow factor! As I’ve carved out a career in arts education, I’ve started to explore more art forms to create personable, unique and playful experiences for all participants.
WHAT KIND OF WORKSHOPS DO YOU RUN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CW+?
I deliver a range of artistic workshops that aim to celebrate creativity and support the wellbeing of older adults, who are all recovering at West Middlesex University Hospital. Usually, I work weekly with small groups and at bedsides – I do my best to get as many people engaging and making as possible. Each workshop is usually accompanied by an Elvis soundtrack, which seems to get everyone in a groovy mood!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WORK WITH CW+ AND HOSPITALS MORE GENERALLY?
I’ve always been interested in connecting people through art collections – and CW+ has a fantastic one! It’s been an exciting opportunity to use their unique resources to offer a series of diverse and creative workshops.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING IN A HOSPITAL ENVIRONMENT? WHAT IMPACT DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR WORKSHOPS HAVE ON PATIENTS?
Patients can face long periods of boredom and are often at risk of social isolation. I think it’s really important to engage people socially, mentally and creatively on their road to recovery. I hope my workshops give them confidence, make them smile and provide opportunity to just have a chat!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING WITH CW+?
I’m a newbie – I’ve only been working with CW+ since January 2020.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ASPECT OF WORKING AT THE HOSPITAL?
Firstly, the staff – they are all just fab! Also meeting new people every week, I feel very lucky to get an insight into so many fascinating lives!
WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IT’S IMPORTANT TO RUN ART WORKSHOPS IN A HEALTHCARE SETTING?
It’s so important to deliver art workshops in healthcare settings – engaging patients in the arts sees significant benefit to their health and wellbeing. Each workshop I design aims to improve dexterity, movement and concentration, whilst also getting people talking together and building confidence in their own abilities.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER ARTISTS WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN SIMILAR HOSPITAL-BASED WORK?
Be experimental and try new things – just because someone is in a hospital bed doesn’t mean they can’t be challenged to do something different or playful!