BeTheArist1.jpgAfter a hugely successful exhibition at the Florence Arts Centre our ‘Be the Artist’ exhibition is now going on tour.

The exhibition showcases some of the art that staff submitted as part of the Trust’s ‘Be the artist’ campaign.

Susie Tate, Healing Arts Manager explained:

“Our ‘be the artist’ project has brought joy to many, both contributors and those who went along to see the exhibition in person. It is wonderful that we are now able to start the formal tour so as many staff as possible can see the artwork and hopefully be inspired to take up art for their wellbeing.”

The first stop for the tour is the West Cumberland Hospital. The exhibition is up now for staff to pop along to.

Susie added:

“West Cumberland Hospital is the first stop of the tour and we hope over the next year to bring it to as many NCIC sites as possible.

"Be the artist’ is a project that began in the summer of 2020. It was conceived in the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic to try and encourage our staff to use art – of any form - to support their wellbeing.

"This exhibition was and is a visual response to that incredible situation; a creative view from those who dedicated themselves completely to the cause, who gave their time and energy to help others and keep us all safe. ‘Be the artist’ showcases the incredible talent we have within our workforce across all roles in our local NHS. It is an artistic expression of the extraordinary times we have all gone through."

Simon McCall.jpgThe original exhibition ‘be the artist’ ran for seven weeks at Florence Arts Centre in the autumn; the work received high praise and recognition for what it represented and the visual display of such a difficult time.

Taking it on tour the Trust hopes to inspire more staff and others to use art to support their wellbeing.

Susie Tate explained: "The exhibition has been a wonderful way to recognise and celebrate the fabulous talent of all the contributors and to bring a focus to arts in health and the huge part it plays in the management of mental and physical health. We hope that others will take the time to enjoy the artwork be that staff or patients and also to consider using art to support their wellbeing. Working with the artists, Florence Arts Centre and Ink Design Print has be a pleasure and a joy; it’s been a true collaboration of local talent.”

Paul Counter; ENT consultant and chair of the Trusts healing Arts programme.

He said: "To all the creatives who took time to contribute to this wonderful exhibition we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude; because without you this wouldn’t have happened, and a spotlight on the importance arts in health, and on you as incredible individuals and artists would not have been shone.

"We hope that this is just the beginning and that ‘be the artist’ will continue to grow, tell stories through creativity and shine a light on art and health as one."

Some of the feedback from the original exhibition at Florence Arts centre:

Jenni Payne - Chair of the Board, Florence Arts Centre said: "It's wonderful to see an idea become a reality! The work is deserving of all the positive comments. Arts in Health has been both a professional and personal interest of mine for very many years and it's great to know that the work is moving forward with fresh momentum. It feels as though its time has come!"

Anne Waggott-Knott - Director, Florence Arts Centre said: "The exhibition has been a lovely, positive show to have at Florence, and I think will be a catalyst for further projects."

"Very proud to be part of this and of the amazing talent of my colleagues." – NCIC Staff member

"Stunning work, amazing centre and work being done." - Visitor

"Lovely observations/record of a very different time." - Visitor

"What an array of talent to create such an expression of feeling." - Visitor

"Lovely to see this art displayed, something to celebrate" - Visitor

"A lovely exhibition of social history" – Visitor

"Fabulous NHS workers!!" – Visitor