Case Studies

ArtLANDS: Speight of the Art

  • Artist(s):
    Speight of the Art
  • Artform(s):
    Animation, silk painting, ceramics and music
  • Commissioner(s):
    Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Funder(s):
    Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Venue(s):
    Heartlands Hospital
  • Duration:
    33 weeks
  • Health Need(s):
    Young people and mental health
Summary:
ARTlands is a project based at Heartlands Hospital in partnership with Speight of the Art to deliver a young person led arts project involving local schools and patients on the children’s ward.

Project Information

ARTlands is a project based at Heartlands Hospital in partnership with Speight of the Art to deliver a young person led arts project involving local schools and patients on the children’s ward.

Responding to the isolation often experienced by children and their families in hospital, the project was designed to give regular creative activities to patients. It also reduces the mystery and possible fear of the process of hospitalization for children who have not yet experienced it. The theme of the programme is Well Being and is divided into four sections food, exercise, lifestyle and spiritual.

Five schools within the hospital catchment area including primary and secondary children have sessions twice a week in the mornings with artists and musicians, activities have included animation, silk painting, ceramics and music. In the afternoon, 4-6 children visit the hospital to continue the morning’s activities. They help facilitate the afternoon’s activities using the experiences from the morning session. Families have said that it is often the first time they have had the opportunity to do something together and offers them quality time as a family.

Speight of the Art, the National Children's Artistic and Creative Charity established in 2008 in memory of Mark Speight the co presenter of the BBC Children's Art Programme Smart. It's Founder, Oliver Speight, Mark's father commented, 'We are proud to be associated with the NHS Heartlands Foundation Trust. The philosophy and purpose of the Artlands Project devised by Sarah McGrory and myself, and geared to the NHS principles of Health and Wellbeing, conforms precisely to the aims and objectives of family life which we are promoting throughout the UK. To date we have brought artistic enrichment to some 10,000 children, but the Heartlands experience, and our desire to bring healthy school children in to the loving and caring Paediatric Unit brings a whole new emotional experience and humility into our lives. We would not have missed it for the world'.

The feedback from the children and the teachers was extremely positive. “It’s a brilliant way to pass the time in hospital and especially good that we can spend time doing something that we would never have thought of doing at home.” It also helps teach children about the value of volunteering and equips staff with skills to help support children to do this.

Later in the year the project will have a final exhibition and an award ceremony. There will be a permanent legacy left at the hospital including beautiful artwork made by the local school community and hospital patients and staff. The project hopes to keep volunteering partnerships with schools and as well as creative training opportunities for staff.

Victoria Elwell at CTC Kingshurst Academy:
“The project is special in so many ways; the project is reaching out to young people from a range of backgrounds and in different situations and engaging them in a varied programme of art activities. My students have grown in ability but more importantly in confidence and empathy for others.”

Gallery