Case Studies

AWARD WINNER: St Giles Hospice Arts into Health Project

  • Artist(s):
    David Calcutt, Ming de Nasty, Dominic Pote, Peter Tinkler
  • Artform(s):
    Writing, photography, painting and illustration.
  • Commissioner(s):
    St Giles Hospice
  • Funder(s):
    The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Albert Hunt Trust, The Lord Austin Trust, Staffordshire County Council Community Arts Fund
  • Venue(s):
    St Giles Hospice
  • Health Need(s):
    Life limiting illness care, end of life care
Awarding winning Arts into Health project which impressively integrates a range of arts projects into the hospice, providing meaningful creative engagement opportunities for patients, and creating a more welcoming and stimulating environment through visual art. Arts into Health won the WMAHW Arts & Health Awards 2014 Judge's Award.

Project Information

The St Giles Hospice Arts into Health Project was delivered in partnership with the Walsall Council Creative Development Team over a six month period. Writing workshops focused on engaging hospice patients, staff and volunteers in creative activity, asking them to share and reflect upon memories and places of significance.

Our writing workshops, led by the writer David Calcutt, provided participants with an opportunity to communicate in a new way, different to their usual day to day interactions. We created an atmosphere where it was good to talk, share, remember and reflect, so that relationships between hospice patients, staff and volunteers were strengthened. Participants described “a deeper understanding and a strength of shared emotions”, enjoying “the noise of people chatting and laughing”, the “happiness of different ideas”, the “courage of the human condition” and the “richness of people”.

With the support of David and art workers, participants created poems, both individually and in groups, for our book, Being Here (see below to download), sharing and reflecting upon memories and places of significance. The sessions inspired the artists Dominic Pote and Peter Tinkler to create photographic images and illustrations for our book whilst Ming de Nasty took documentary photographs. Six of Dominic’s images have become artwork installations at St Giles Hospice.

Our project achieved a strong feeling of shared ownership and trust with participants demonstrating a deep commitment to the creative process. Participants felt “exhilaration” and the “happiness of being involved”; “excited and privileged to be part of something so special” and “wonderful”. One said “whilst we were working together… I forgot I had cancer”. “Most importantly” said David, participants “speak from the pages… sharing with us brief and intense moments of their lives”.

Our book and artwork installations are a lasting legacy of the project that will continue to connect with a wider audience. As well as sharing the poetry and images, the book is a record of the creative process, showing how hospices can be places of artistic excellence, nurturing and stimulating creativity. The artworks will visually enrich the hospice environment, providing peaceful and tranquil focal points, evoking memories, for years to come.

Click here to download a copy of the book Being Here.