Royal Academy of Arts partnership
The Arts team, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly, have annually over the past 6 years created a dynamic arts project. Patients and their carers visit a national art exhibition and work with both RA and hospice artists to make their own art, inspired by the exhibition and their own life experience. The resultant work is exhibited at the RA and then throughout both hospice sites. With social outreach as a major strand of the Royal Academy’s institutional remit, the collaboration examines how art and care can provide people who are dying with a sense of remaining.
The project aims to give patients special access to major Academy exhibitions and to provide workshops to create their own art, individually and collaboratively, inspired by the specific exhibition – Hockney landscape painting; Manet portraits; the work of Peter Paul Rubens; Painting the Modern Garden, Sensing Spaces, Revolution and most recently the Jaspar Johns exhibition ‘Something resembling Truth’.
One example is work created around the Rubens exhibition in 2015. A series of triptychs representing ‘Birth, Life, and Death’, completed by patients in the RA workshops and also here at St Christopher’s morning arts groups were displayed at the Royal Academy as part of a day celebrating ‘Life, Legacy and Art’. The artwork was then be displayed at St Christopher’s in Sydenham during April and May.
As part of the project, artist Whitney McVeigh came to St Christopher’s to film and interview women at the end of their life, talking about their experience and memories of birth. Eight patients took part in the filming of the piece, entitled ‘Birth, origins at the end of life’, and although the experience was emotional at times, the patients were pleased to have the opportunity to talk about their experiences, leave a legacy for family, and feel that their experiences were of value and interest to others.
For further information on St Christopher’s arts projects please contact the Arts Team