Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Art of Caring opens at St George's Hospital

Yesterday we opened the Art of Caring 2017 exhibition at St George's Hospital. We had an immediate and favourable response from patients and staff at the hospital as they walked past our display of postcards and haiku pill bottles. You can find the exhibition of more than 330 artworks by Cardiac Investigations, Ground Floor, Atkinson Morley Wing, St George's Hospital, SW17 0QT.

The exhibition is sited on a busy corridor that services several departments and if you sit there for a few minutes then porters swish by, pushing patients in beds and wheelchairs. While we were there several people spoke about the artwork on display. One of our first visitors Jill Partridge said, "I've been prodded and poked today, the staff have been wonderful but I've been to so many appointments and tests, it feels like I'm on a conveyor belt. How nice to have a moment to breathe. I like seeing the art, it helps me remember what is important to me."

The Art of Caring is running alongside the SNAP Conference this year and many Kingston University Nursing students came to have a look at the art and find the haikus that they had written themselves. The haikus have been printed onto pill bottles and made a great display, a big thank you to ICU Nurse Nikki Yun and Dr Karen Norman who helped install the work on the Atkinson Morley Wing walls.

We also had a important visitor, Jane Cummings, who is the Chief Nurse at NHS England. She viewed the whole exhibition and enjoyed the diversity of the work.

Thank you to Dr Julia Gale and all the staff at Kingston University and St George's University, London for supporting the exhibition. Also to the Arts Director Joanna Wakefield and Curator Carla Di Grazia, both at St George's Hospital. Most all thank you to all the artists and authors who contributed to the exhibition, we rely on your support every year and you give us such a wonderful creative response.

There is an additional album of photos HERE (and we'll add to them as the exhibition progresses).

The exhibition closes on the 12th May. International Nurses Day.

AL.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Art of Caring 2017 at St George's Hospital


With less than a week to go we're all working away here at CollectConnect in preparation for this year's exhibition. The postcards are all printed and need trimming to their correct sizes and the haiku labels need to be stuck on their 2D pill bottles, but all will be ready for the 3rd May 2017 when we launch the Art of Caring exhibition at St George's Hospital in Tooting, London, UK.

This year Paul Newcombe, Associate Professor on the BSc Nursing programme at Kingston University, chose Caroline Kirton's image for the exhibition publicity material. Thank you to Caroline for the fantastic artwork that adorns all our posters and flyers at St George's. These will be placed all around the hospital for the duration of the exhibition which runs from 3rd - 12th May 2017.

There wont be a Private View this year as both the Hospital/NHS and Education budgets are under pressure but Alban will be on site during the 3rd May if you would like to meet him and some of the other artists. The exhibition runs alongside the Student Nurse Academic Partnership (SNAP) at St George's on the 3rd May. If you would like to attend or find out more details then visit https://snapcon.wordpress.com

The exhibition will be in the Atkinson Morley Wing (ground floor) and available to view at normal hospital opening hours so please come along and have a look at this year's selection of work on the theme of Care, Caring and Sustainability. The exhibition closes on the 12th May which is International Nurse's Day. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and continues to support our Nurses, Carers and the NHS by sending us their artworks and poems.

The exhibition will next go onto St Pancras Hospital from July to October 2017 with a selection of original work chosen by curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay alongside the postcards. As soon as we know the details we'll post it up here.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Ella Penn - Alopecia tableau - Art of Caring

Ella Penn - Alopecia tableau, Freya: Me My hair and I
Submissions for this year's Art of Caring have started to arrive in our inbox and we've been both excited and emotionally piqued by the artworks (and haikus) that people would like to exhibit. If you're reading this and would also like to exhibit then visit our SUBMIT page, you've got until the 3rd April to do so and it's totally Free. So just do it.

When we get a few spare minutes from sifting through the entries it inspires us to reflect on the artworks and the power that they possess. Today I've been particularly caught by a series of photographs by Ella Penn, who has been exhibiting with us since the Rarities magnet exhibition on Hasting's Pier in 2011. Although her work is primarily photography based she has a keen eye for the conceptual. In 2015 she took part in the wonderful Art Language Location festival in Cambridge where she exhibited her work 52 Card Pick Up with Liam Whitfield. Over a 6 year period they collected a full pack of cards after finding them individually discarded in public places.

The Art of Caring has always been close to the heart of Ella as she was a carer for her dad for 10 years. This year she has submitted a powerful triptych dedicated to her friend Freya, who is raising awareness of Alopecia.

Ella Penn - Alopecia tableau, Freya: Me My hair and I
"The photos are of Freya Barnes who I've known all my life. Both Freya and her sister Roxy have battled with Alopecia as they were growing up and this knocked their self confidence, as a woman hair is seen as one of the key factors in femininity. The NHS gave Freya wigs and referred her to hair loss shampoos. All of which are designed to cover up or try and restore the growth of her hair. 

I suggested this photo project to Freya as photo therapy and hopefully to give her confidence in herself without her wig. When I showed Freya the images after the shoot she was really pleased and decided to share an image on the Alopecia Facebook page to inspire other women."
Ella Penn, 2017


Ella Penn - Alopecia tableau, Freya: Me My hair and I
It goes without saying that we were inspired here too, by both Freya and Ella. We thank them both for contributing to the exhibition. If you would like to see these artworks and many more like them then visit us at St George's Hospital on the 3rd-12th May 2017. A selection of AOC work will also be exhibited at St Pancras Hospital from 20th July to 19th October 2017.

AL.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Art of Caring 2017 - Submissions open

Now in its 3rd year The Art of Caring is needed more than ever to show support for Nurses, Carers, and the NHS. This is your chance to exhibit an artwork or haiku that demonstrates your passion for this theme, whether you have faced its challenges from the perspective of a carer or patient.

The Art of Caring is split into two clear exhibitions.
The first is at St George's Hospital (3rd-12th May 2017) where printed postcards of your artwork are displayed on the walls of the hospital to help celebrate International Nurses Day. This is an inclusive exhibition.
The second is at St Pancras Hospital (July-October 2017) and uses a mixture of original artworks and printed postcards. Works will be selected by Arts Project curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.

It is Free to enter.
Send up to 3 jpeg images at an A6 size to collectconnect4@gmail.com
and/or
Send a haiku to the same email address collectconnect4@gmail.com

The theme this year is Care, Caring and Sustainability.
It is inspired by the theme for International Nurses Day 2017 which is Nursing: A voice to lead - Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

You'll receive a confirmation email within 7 days with your catalogue/exhibition numbers. Before the exhibition we will print 2 postcards of each of your artworks. One copy will be sent to you and the other will be exhibited at St George's Hospital, Tooting, UK from the 3rd-12th May, 2017.

This year we will be opening the exhibition on 3rd May 2017 alongside SNAP (Student Nurse Academic Partnership Conference) and finishing on International Nurses Day (12th May).
If you would like to see last year's exhibition and some of the 380 submissions then click here. - 2016 Launch Party & exhibition

For the full details about how to submit your work visit our SUBMIT page.
Deadline for submissions is Monday 3rd April 2017
(We may close early if all 400 exhibition spaces are filled)

Alban Low, Bryan Benge, Dean Reddick and Stuart Simler

Monday, 12 December 2016

Retrospective: Until next time

Jill Hedges
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our exhibition at Kensington and Chelsea College gallery last week. It was a unique opportunity for a group such as ours, whose natural environment is usually exhibiting on the streets. It was a mammoth task to collate and organise the 25 exhibitions we have created between 2010 and 2016. Thank you to Matthew Kolakowski and all the staff at KCC for helping us throughout the exhibition.

Peter S Smith reads from Vertical Prose
The exhibition finished with a charming evening of talks and discussions about CollectConnect's impact and future. True to our ideals we didn't hog the floor with our thoughts but opened it up to many of the chapbook authors who have published with us recently. We were treated to insights and reading from Kevin Acott (South), Stella Tripp (Mumurmurations), Peter S Smith (Vertical Prose), Carmel Blackie (Resilience), Maartens Lourens (Poetry WTF?!) and Lucy Furlong (The Seethingographer). Thank you once again, without you we wouldn't have come so far in the past 6 years.

For those of you that couldn't be with us then view all the photos HERE.

Have a wonderful Christmas break and see you again in 2017 for some new adventures.
Bryan, Stuart, Alban and Dean

Monday, 5 December 2016

Artist Talks at the CollectConnect Retrospective

We launched the CollectConnect Retrospective with an opening party last week at Kensington and Chelsea College gallery where artists of all ages joined together to celebrate 6 years of inclusive art. With 25 exhibitions, 1200 artists and a whole gallery full of artworks it was a major effort to prepare this exhibition, and we hope the artists and visitors enjoyed both the art and meeting each other. The nature of our exhibitions and projects mean that many artists never meet each other, they are merely artworks and reputations in cyberspace. There were many London artists in attendance, Sharon Read and Jill Hedges endured the long trek from Northampton but Eskild Beck once again came the furthest from his hometown of Aabenraa in Denmark.

Catherine Wynne-Paton visited the gallery before the opening party to record some footage of the exhibition and to interview Alban, Bryan and Dean about the CollectConnect project. You can find a brief snippet of their conversation here - https://vimeo.com/194180116

Chapbooks
The exhibition isn't over yet!
Join us on Tuesday 6th Dec from 5.30 - 8pm at Kensington and Chelsea College Gallery (Hortensia Rd, London, SW10 0QS) for an evening of Artists Talks. Bryan Benge, Stuart Simler, Alban Low and Dean Reddick will be talking about the CollectConnect projects and their adventures in public art. There will also be an introduction about how to publish a chapbook and readings from published authors Kevin Acott, Peter S Smith, Carmel Blackie, Maartens Lourens (Poetry WTF?!), Lucy Furlong and Stella Tripp.

Look forward to seeing you.