If we were ill we'd definitely hope to see our doctor wielding a stethoscope rather than a sketchbook - but from Da Vinci's anatomical drawings to Damien Hirst's medicine cabinets, art has long been influenced by medicine. A new exhibition now aims to prove that art can positively affect the healing process. It's hoped that patients at
This showcase for ten contemporary artists is organized by Vital Arts the organisation responsible for delivering integrated arts projects for Barts and The London through an ongoing program of changing exhibitions. The range of participating artists for Material Worlds is intriguingly diverse; from Georgia Russell, who appropriately wields a scalpel instead of a brush or a pen, to Sarah Bridgland whose box-sculptures explode with elements of collage and children's pop-up books.
Many of the works are for sale, with one-third of proceeds supporting Vital Arts. It aims to emphasise the power of the palette to improve the experience not just of patients but for visitors and staff. You are welcome to pop inside to take a look. Indeed, Vital Arts specifically hope that rolling exhibitions will 'bring the outside in', helping make the hospitals feel more welcoming. Nice to be able to do your bit for the hospital at the same time as getting a dose of culture.
By Amy Dawson
Material Worlds is on at BartsGallery, Entrance to Outpatients, BartsHospital, West Smithfield, EC1A 7BE and RoyalLondonHospital (RLH) Gallery, Main Corridor, RLH, Whitechapel, E1 1BB until January 2009. Image of Sarah Bridgland’s 'Cut-out collection Red White & Blue', on show at Barts