Two arts organisations help transform a space at Warwick Hospital for staff and patients

The project was supported by SWFT Charity

Escape Arts partnered with Leamington-based BRINK Contemporary Arts to help transform a large hospital stairwell at Warwick hospital, which was also supported by the SWFT Charity.  Photo supplied
Escape Arts partnered with Leamington-based BRINK Contemporary Arts to help transform a large hospital stairwell at Warwick hospital, which was also supported by the SWFT Charity. Photo supplied

Two arts organisations have teamed up to help transform a stairwell at Warwick Hospital.

Leamington-based BRINK Contemporary Arts recently worked with Escape Arts, which is based in Stratford, for the project.

Following on from recent work undertaken by Escape Arts on the main hospital corridor and Ambulatory Ward as part of an art’s clinical transformation Arts Council funded project, the organisation was asked to work on the stairwell leading to the hospital’s respiratory Mary Ward.

Escape Arts partnered with Leamington-based BRINK Contemporary Arts to help transform a large hospital stairwell at Warwick hospital, which was also supported by the SWFT Charity. Photo supplied

The project was the vision of Respiratory Ward manager, Sara Houghton, who wanted to brighten up Mary Ward approach for staff, visitors and for patients who undertake their physical assessments on the stairwell.

Escape Arts led consultation with the staff team who wanted to bring the outdoors in, to ‘bring a breath of fresh air to a dark and enclosed space’.

Escape Arts commissioned Leamington-based BRINK Contemporary Arts, who worked over four days transforming the space, working above and beyond to realise the vision for what is a very large, enclosed environment.

Sara Houghton, manager of Mary Ward said: “As the ward manager for Mary Ward, I came up with the idea for a mural in the stairway. I wanted to create something inspiring for the staff and relatives coming to and from the ward, as the patients use this stairwell when they do their stair assessments. I wanted to give them something positive to look at and to bring the outside in.’

Chief executive officer for Escape Arts, Karen Williams, said: ‘This work is close to my heart. We all have a connection with our local hospitals. Through transformative projects such as these, we can make a difference by creating spaces that help make people feel better, to give a focus, to uplift and to bring comfort during difficult times. A big thank you goes to hospital staff, the estates and fire teams and of course to BRINK Contemporary Arts for helping us realise Sara’s vision.’

Rachel Williams, associate director of operations at South Warwickshire NHS Trust, said: “I think the mural on the staircase between Mary and Victoria really brings the outside world into the hospital.

"It makes it light, airy and it will be such a nice thing for our patients to see as they’re climbing the stairs. It will be a real enlightenment for staff as well and it looks so beautiful.”

Tim Robottom, the lead artist from BRINK Contemporary Arts, said: “The concept of this piece was brought to me by the staff.

"There was a post box of cards where people suggested what they’d like to see and from that, I came up with the concept of Outside: Inside – that’s the title of the piece.

"The idea being that we’ve bought the landscape into the building, and we’ve got two stylised lungs that almost look like a stained-glass window.

"With Mary Ward being a respiratory recovery ward, Outside: Inside is all about the air; the air in the landscape, the trees breathing, the air in our lungs.”