Speaking of death

A workshop exploring the use of creative and reflective writing as a way of processing the impact of patient death and dying on healthcare professionals.

1001 Fresh arts festival photo by Jim Wileman (2)

  • What is the impact of patient dying and death on healthcare professionals? 
  • What emotions does it give rise to? 
  • How can grief be registered, expressed and processed  in the midst of demanding clinical settings? 
  • Is it possible to be both efficient and sensitive? 
  • Objective and emotionally engaged? 
  • How can caring professionals stay attuned to the emotional needs of patients at the end of life?
  • How can they themselves stay healthy and prevent burn-out?
Sue Mayfield will facilitate a conversation around some of these issues and introduce practical ideas for creative and reflective writing about death and dying. Participants will be helped to write, to develop ideas and to craft their words into simple poems. There will be opportunities to share writing with others but no expectation or pressure – should you wish to keep your words private. Sue Mayfield is a Cheltenham-based novelist and poet who has worked extensively in healthcare settings. She is currently writer-in-residence at Southmead Hospital and facilitates writing-for-wellbeing courses at Cheltenham Maggie’s Centre. Sue uses writing therapeutically within her psychodynamic counselling practice and is the author of two books about bereavement  – Living with Bereavement (2008 Lion)  and First Steps Through Bereavement 2011 Lion).
Date: 26th March
Time: 6:15pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Brunel building, Southmead Hospital
To book please visit: www.speakingofdeath.eventbrite.co.uk 

Healthcare professionals, artists and anyone with an interest are all welcome to attend.


How can we use the arts to help us understand complex health conditions?

Part of Bristol Arts and Health Forum Creative networking


Author Fiona Hamilton and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Clare Short will facilitate this workshop, which focuses on eating disorders and has applications in other areas. Healthcare professionals, artists and anyone with an interest are welcome to attend.

Using a story in verse, Bite Sized, as a springboard, we will demonstrate ways in which creative approaches such as writing, dance and drawing can be useful in exploring eating disorders. Drawing on both clinical expertise and artistic approaches, we will tease out some themes and invite attendees to consider them in fresh ways.

There will be opportunities for discussion and optional participation in activities which we hope will be informative as well as interesting and enjoyable. This session is a chance to think ‘out of the box’ and see what insights and inspiration can happen when arts and health perspectives come together to open up new avenues.

Venue: The Brunel Building, Southmead Hospital (meet at reception)
Date: 26th February 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Cost: £5 (drinks and nibbles)
Book: bitesized.eventbrite.com

bitesized3 bitesized2

Local Art Groups transform the RUH Corridors

Olive Webb 'The Bird 'sugar lift aquatint 77 x 54 cm £190  Abstract 1,  by Lila Streether

‘Left: The Bird’ Olive Webb, Bath Open Studios (BOS)
Right: ‘Abstract 1’ Lila Streether, Timsbury Art Group

Dates: January 2015 – 17 April 2015
Venue: Art at the Heart of the RUH, Main Corridor Gallery, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG
Opening Times: Mon-Sun 8am-8pm

In anticipation of the 4 Open Art Trails, Bear Flat, Larkhall, Newbridge and Widcombe, which are once again taking place in the month of May, a selection of wall hung pieces by Bath Open Studio (BOS) artists will be on show in the corridors of the Royal United Hospital. Brought together by Bath Open Studios (BOS) in collaboration with the Art at the Heart Team at the RUH, around 100 works will be on display including paintings, mixed media, prints, mosaics and photography. BOS is proud to represent and promote all art and craft makers residing in the city.

Alongside BOS, Midsomer Norton and Radstock area Art Group, Old Bakery Artists, are exhibiting a fantastic array of their latest artwork. Featuring calming landscapes, animal portraits and unusual abstract creations, there’s something for everyone!

Last but not least, Timsbury Art Group has between twenty to thirty members at any one time, who produce paintings in varying mediums including watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastels, line & wash, colour pencils and mixed media. Subjects range from Still Life and local scenes to landscapes, flowers and abstracts.

For further information please contact: 
Hetty Dupays, Arts Programme Manager   hetty.dupays@nhs.net
Jessica Shoemack, Marketing Assistant     jessicashoemack@nhs.net
T: 01225 824987
Follow us on Twitter @artatruh

Silver Winners By Glenda Maynard  ‘Silver Winners’ Glenda Maynard, Old Bakery Artists (OBA)

Creative Networking – Healthcare Staff Wellbeing

Are you a member of NHS staff or a care giver? Or maybe you’re an Artist who works in healthcare settings? Join Light Box and Willis Newson for an evening to explore the role of Arts in staff wellbeing.

The evening will provide those who attend an opportunity to network with local healthcare professionals and artists seeking to improve wellbeing for healthcare staff, and also learn more about The Happiness Project run by Light Box.

It will be an evening of discussion around wellbeing and an exploration of creative approaches that can be used to support it. Spaces are limited, so book your place now: www.staffwellbeing.eventbrite.co.uk/


Fresh Arts Festival

Fresh arts festival

A festival of arts events and activities celebrates creativity and wellbeing at Southmead Hospital Bristol.

The three day Fresh Arts Festival will bring poetic first aid, a knitting installation, model car racing, promenade theatre, music on the wards, and a programme of activities to celebrate the opening of the new building.

The wider public art programme features the work of nationally and internationally recognised artists to animate spaces and create special places within the hospital building and grounds.

Project leaders Willis Newson were commissioned by the developers of the new site, Carillion. Underpinning the project is a close collaboration between North Bristol NHS Trust and its arts programme, Fresh Arts, architects Building Design Partnership (BDP), the commissioned artists, Carillion and Willis Newson.

During the Fresh Arts Festival, patients, staff, visitors, families and local residents will be able to experience and learn about the role that art is playing in creating a better patient environment. Performances, workshops and activities will celebrate the role that the arts are playing in bringing the building to life and connecting to the communities who use it.

Promenade style theatre performances will draw on stories and memories of hospital life, collected from staff and local people during a series of writing workshops. Show of Strength Theatre Company will perform throughout the hospital.

The Emergency Poet will provide poetry on prescription – a mix of the serious, the therapeutic and the theatrical. Poet and writer Deborah Alma will offer consultations and prescribe poems.

Writer in residence Sue Mayfield will explore the things that people need, love and care about most. Working with patients and visitors, she will shape a ‘lifeline’ of poetry. Spike Printmakers will set up drop-in workshops in the hospital Atrium throughout the festival.

Knitiffi knitter Ali Brown will work with community groups, staff and patients to demonstrate the therapeutic nature of knitting, while creating a special installation for the hospital entrance. The aim of Knitiffi – or knit graffiti – is to enhance everyday objects in the environment and to bring together community groups.

Live musical performances by Superact and by local choirs will take place on wards and in waiting areas around the hospital.

The final day of the Festival will be marked by staging a Speed Derby in the hospital atrium – the culmination of a series of workshops to help staff teams from across both old sites come together to identify with and take ownership of their new working environment. During the workshops, led by artistsAssemble and Join, staff designed and created their own model cars to race on a specially created track built around the building.

The festival is part of a public art programme which involves patients, staff and the wider community. It features the work of six artists in the building and surrounding grounds. Pieces of art provide moments of reflection or distraction. They lift the mood, or provoke emotional responses, encouraging empathy and understanding.

The Fresh Arts Festival takes place from Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 October. All events and activities are free, and open to patients, staff, visitors, families and local residents. Click here for a Fresh Arts Festival programme

Creative connections with older people

Creative Networking – Creative connections with older people

Thursday 23rd October 2014 £5 Book tickets

6:30 – 8:30pm, The Station Kitchen, The Station, Bristol, BS1 2AG

The Bristol Arts and Health Forum and Willis Newson invite you to join Alive! for a fun and interactive workshop to explore how creativity can support meaningful activity and quality of life for people living with dementia.

Alive! is a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people in care by enabling participation in meaningful activity. The charity delivers activities in over 300 care homes across the South and South West, provides training and resources for care professionals and runs a variety of innovative and creative projects to stimulate older people on all levels.

In this relaxed and friendly setting Alive! will guide you through a series of short creative and fun exercises that will provide inspiration and aid communication. Suitable for all levels of ability, these workshops will provoke discussion, collaboration and understanding.

This evening will allow you to network with local artists, carers, healthcare professionals and charities seeking to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia. A sharing wall displaying the work of Bristol artists and art organisations working with older adults will provide ideas and inspiration.

What will those supporting people living with dementia gain from the evening?

  • Find out how local artists can support people living with dementia
  • Gather ideas around creative activities and ways of working
  • Meet local artists interested in supporting people with dementia

 What will artists gain from the evening?

  • Find out how to use your skills and experience to support people living with dementia
  • Gather ideas around creative activities and ways of working
  • Meet potential partners and commissioners

Bristol Arts and Health Forum exists to help arts and health practitioners share ideas and inspiration.

This event is part of a series of creative networking evenings.  To book visit creative-networking.eventbrite.com

Bristol Arts and Health Forum Creative Networking events are back!

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The events bring health professionals, arts and health practitioners and artists together in a fun, creative and social way so that people can network, be creative and develop ideas and practice.

So whether you are a health and social care professional, arts and health practitioner or an artist these events are for you.

All of the evenings will be suitable for all levels of ability and experience. Creativity and communication is encouraged throughout and you will have the chance to network with a group of like-minded individuals.

This year each event will focus on a particular health theme our first will focus on Creative connections with older people

To keep up to date with future events follow the Bristol Arts and Health Forum Blog by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Studio Upstairs, Open Studios 2014

Open Studios 2014

Private View: Friday 2nd May 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Exhibition open: Saturday 3rd May / Sunday 4th May / Monday 5th May
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily

The annual Open Studios offer a chance to see an up-close and working view of the dynamic, wide ranging and multi-disciplinary artistic activity taking place at Studio Upstairs. Members will also be working in the Studio, with artworks being produced throughout the duration of the Open.

Studio Upstairs supports creative and personal recovery through arts practice.

Units 1 & 2 Albion Dockside Estate
Hanover Place
0117 930 0314

Creative Networking – Urban Knitting, Aruba Stones


An example of Knitiffi in action

Are you a creative looking to meet commissioners?  Or a commissioner looking to meet creatives?

Join artist Ali Brown in a workshop to encourage creative match-making for projects, ideas and skills. Ali Brown is the founder of Knitiffi, a collective of knit artists who breathe life into inanimate objects using knitting.

Creative Networking – Urban Kniting – Aruba Stones 

Wednesday May 7th 2014

6:30 – 8:30pm, The Surrey Vaults, Bristol

Free but booking required 

Aruba wishing stones

In this workshop Ali Brown will help you create your own piece of knit graffiti and be a part of a ‘Knitiffi’ style installation. In Aruba, the Caribbean, a beach is full of stacks of rocks – there is an old island tradition where visitors and residents alike come to offer wishes for health, for wealth, and for happiness.Inspired by this tradition we will be adding some knit graffiti to our stones and building our own stacks full of wishes. Knit, crochet or embellish a pre -knitted panel and fit it to a stone and attach to it your wish culminating in an outdoor knitted art installation. This will be a time for creating, discussion and reflection and chance to experience being a part of a knitted community.

Creativity and communication will be encouraged throughout and you’ll have the chance to freely network with a group of like-minded professionals. No previous knitting experience necessary.

This event is part of a series of creative networking evenings please sign up to the Bristol Arts and Health Forum Blog to keep updated.


Knitiffi in action around Bristol


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Creative Networking – Using materials in unconventional ways

Tallest Tower

Are you a creative looking to meet commissioners? Or a commissioner looking to meet creatives?

Bristol Arts and Health Forum are running a series of creative networking events. The events are open to anyone currently engaged in Arts and Health activities, or for those who want to get involved in the sector. So whether you are an arts and health practitioner, art consultant, artist or a health and social care professional these events are for you.

All of the evenings will be suitable for all levels of ability.

There will be four events in total and the third session will be:

Using materials in unconventional ways

On: Tuesday 11th March 2014, 6:30pm – 8:30 pm, Spike Island

Join artist Rodney Harris in a workshop to encourage creative match-making for projects, ideas and skills.

Rodney will use his experience as a Sculptor to run a creative workshop exploring clay and other materials in unconventional ways. The workshop will bring individuals together through natural discussion, and shared sculptural and performance activities. Rodney will direct you through these activities, using methods that everyone will be familiar and comfortable with. Some of the work produced will be saved to be fired and distributed to participants at a later date.

The workshop is based around both individual and group work which Rodney devised following his role as Sculptor in Residence at Liverpool University and as a coordinator for Performing Arts Laboratories Ltd.

Creativity and communication will be encouraged throughout and you’ll have the chance to freely network with a group of like-minded professionals.

Due to the nature of the workshop please wear old clothes!

It is free to attend but spaces are limited, to book please click here

This event is part of a series of creative networking evenings. Our next event is to be held in May, please sign up to the Bristol Arts and Health Forum Blog to keep updated (sign up form at the bottom of this page).

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