At Black Box Projects we believe in the transformative role art can play both in our daily lives and within the context of the medical treatment and mental health. Art has the potential to change us, to brighten spirits, to soothe, to challenge and fulfil. Join us as we discuss navigating art's role in mental health and art engagement in these unprecedented times.
IN CONVERSATION with Black Box Projects welcomes artist Steve Macleod and Co-Founders of Hospital Rooms - curator Niamh White and artist Tim A. Shaw - to discuss the role of art in mental health, the art of happiness and the important work of Hospital Rooms.
Professor Steve Macleod is an artist whose practice discards the modernist approach to realist interpretation of his landscape compositions for one that uses the landscape as visual metaphors describe historical and humanist subjects that connect us with the environment we inhabit. The resulting works are layered with meaning and mood, where the artist's emotional intent is conveyed through atmospheric suggestion and imagination.
Hospital Rooms is an arts and mental health charity that commissions world-class art and implements art programmes for NHS mental health services in the UK. Artist Tim A. Shaw and curator Niamh White founded Hospital Rooms after a close friend was sectioned and admitted to a mental health hospital. On visiting her, they were shocked to find that the hospital environment was cold and clinical at a time when she was so vulnerable. Having worked in the arts for 10 years each, they felt they had the skills and community to be able to transform these spaces with high quality artworks and spaces for healing. In 2016, Dr Emma Whicher (now one of Hospital Rooms' trustees) gave them the opportunity to run their first project at the Phoenix Unit, a rehabilitation unit for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Here they commissioned Nick Knight, Gavin Turk, Steve Macleod, Assemble - among other world class artists - to work with patients and staff to create site specific artwork for the ward. The project received national press attention and Hospital Rooms has been inundated with requests for projects ever since.