On Wednesday 1 June, we were delighted to welcome Saatchi Gallery Learning to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to deliver a series of creative workshops for patients. In collaboration with CW+, the team from Saatchi spent the day on hospital wards, where they delivered drawing and collage sessions for both adult and younger patients. The workshops were part of the CW+ Arts for All programme which provides meaningful cultural opportunities that offer distraction, engagement and social interaction to improve patient experience at our hospitals.
The first session of the day, ‘Passiflora Drawing’ was delivered one-to-one with adult patients, at the patient’s bedside. The activity entailed botanical drawing,using natural imagery inspired by the recent RHS exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, to relax patients and get their creativity flowing.
In the afternoon, a ‘Plants of the Imagination’ session was held with paediatric patients. The young patients combined observational drawing and collage to invent and draw their own fantasy plants, as well as learning scientific facts about plants.
Trystan Hawkins, Arts Director at CW+, commented: “It has been wonderful having Saatchi Gallery Learning visit the hospital to deliver some fantastic creative sessions. Workshops such as these make a real difference to our patients and it has been great to collaborate once again with Saatchi Gallery in facilitating a visionary and engaging distraction for them.”
Zulahatu, one of the patient participants, said: “As I am into advocacy and charity work myself, I absolutely loved this initiative. I really enjoyed our session and thank you!”
Florence Goodhand-Tait, Head of Learning at Saatchi Gallery, also said: “It was a wonderful experience to run these sessions for the patients. Working one to one in this way was a completely new experience for our learning team, which allowed us to get to know each patient individually. The theme of botanical art allowed us to have some lovely conversations about their lives and memories of art and nature. They made some beautiful art too! The CW+ staff were very supportive and kind, and we hope to work with them again soon.”
These workshops are the latest collaboration with Saatchi Gallery. We first partnered with the gallery, which is situated just one mile from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, in September 2021 when the gallery shared virtual access to the renowned exhibition ‘JR: Chronicles’. The hospital community could virtually visit the exhibition online and via patient bed-side screens as part of our online Virtual Connections programme, which was created in 2020 in response to the pandemic when our in-person participatory activities had to stop.
In November 2021, we were thrilled to host a special exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. Journeys: The Healing Arts, was the first Arts in Health exhibition held at the gallery and featured a selection of bespoke artworks from the CW+ art collection, commissioned to enhance the environment and improve patient outcomes at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. This was the first time we exhibited artworks from our collection on this scale to a wider public within a gallery setting.
Read more about our award-winning Arts in Health programme here.