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"Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Arts: Finance and contracts"

Date
1991-1993
Reference
ART/AFH/A/3/24
Part of
Arts for Health: archive
  • Archives and manuscripts



About this work

Description

See files ART/AFH/A/25/9; ART/AFH/A/3/18 - ART/AFH/A/3/35 for more records relating to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Publication/Creation

1991-1993

Physical description

1 file

Biographical note

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was opened in 1993 as a flagship NHS Hospital, replacing five other hospitals in London (Westminster, Westminster Children's, St Mary's Abbots, West London and St Stephen's). The new building was designed to create a light and open environment, with a large atrium canopy at the centre of the hospital, and wards and departments in the hospital surrounding a number of large atrium spaces.

Arts for health were commissioned to introduce arts into the hospital environment, both visual arts within the hospital, and a programme of performance and participative arts. The chosen theme for the hospital was the "Theatre for Health", reflecting the links between theatre and healing, the dramatic impact of hospital architecture, and indicating the role that the performing arts can have in the healing process.

Theatre for Health later became a registered charity, with support from the Special Trustees of the Hospital. Money for the project was raised from donations, fundraising events and other activities. A fundraising committee, composed of hospital staff and chaired by James Scott, was set up and patrons appointed.

A programme of regular performing arts was established at the hospital, which included concerts, puppet shows, theatre performances, and children's activities. Commissioned art works included a mobile of falling leaves ("Falling Leaves"); a number of murals; a 54 foot steel sculpture spanning three floors ("Acrobatic Dancer"); as well as a number of other works of art, including paintings and sculptures, placed throughout the hospital. Many areas of the hospital were also decorated by works from the Hospital's collection of paintings and prints, including a 16th-century painting by Veronese from the Westminster Hospital and stained glass windows from St Mary Abbots and the Westminster Children's Hospitals. The aim of the arts project was to introduce art works which would be sympathetic to the hospital environment, complementing both the architecture and the health services offered.


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