Posted on: 29 June 2023
In August 2021, the Arts and Wellbeing team invited the CNWL community to enter an open submission on the theme of Recovery for the Future and Local Area for a permanent exhibition in the new Hathaway House building.
CNWL staff, carers and services users could submit poetry, artworks and photographs; work which celebrated and reflected the diverse community in Westminster, such as the Notting Hill Carnival and the nature surrounding the building as well as their personal stories about what recovery means to them.
The submitted artworks were then shortlisted by a panel made up of staff and service user representatives. There was substantial interest in the submission, and 80 artworks were selected by the panel.
Last night (28 June 2023) we held an opening event for the exhibition, which has become a collection that captures and represents something from our journey through Covid-19 and beyond.
We invited the artists, their families, friends as well as carers, services users and staff to see the curation of artworks in the new Trust building which houses mental health and community services.
Reem Al Herz was born in Saudi Arabia, and she is an artist and entrepreneur. She makes no secret that each piece of work comes from a deep hidden emotion that she puts into life through colours.
Her work comes from a strong personal experience: “my hand has always been my best way of expressing myself, they speak louder than my voice.”
Inner Peace (right), came to Reem in a dream after she finished her PTSD sessions.
Speaking at the event, Claire Grant, Head of Profession for our Arts Psychotherapies Service said:
“This project was born out of the Arts for Wellbeing work that started when we were in the middle of Covid and we all needed ways to sustain ourselves and manage unprecedented change. It was difficult to find words to describe the human experience and express the depths of this. Arts and creative endeavours were giving people moments of connection.”
“I’m humbled and proud to be here – the work is amazing. It will make such a difference for those coming into this space on a daily basis.”
Simone Angel, Art Psychotherapist and Carol Jaffier, Dance Movement Therapist have been co-leads for the Arts Wellbeing project.
Simone said: “Not only does the work communicate the two themes of recovery and nature, but also essential elements of play, community and hope. All these artworks tell a personal story and it's fantastic to have a group of artists come together in this way.
“Evidence shows that displaying artwork in spaces can have a transformative effect for staff and service users; reducing stress and changing moods, boosting wellbeing and creating discussion.”
There is also a large collage created by residents of North Kensington who attended an arts psychotherapy group in response to the Grenfell tower.
The artwork began life as a sand mandala. Using transient coloured sand, the dye remains as the foundational legacy, upon which many layers have been collages, painted and sculptured. The transitions and layers in the work reflect and symbolise the changes occurring in a community following a catastrophic disaster such as the Grenfell Tower.
Artists: Elaine Zaple Gulliver, Joanne Milton, Lina Lens (contributions from Fawzia Afifi and Wafa Osman)
The shortlisted artworks are on permanent display in the reception area, staff offices and clinical spaces of Hathaway House.
We are very grateful to the artists for the generous donation of these artworks, and we also thank the Trust Charity for their funding of the professional framing.
See some of the artworks below
We hope you enjoy and feel inspired by this collective of artworks. If you would like to leave feedback, please contact: email@example.com
In June 2020, The Arts and Wellbeing Space was set up encouraging staff, carers and services users to share their creativity and connect with each other through monthly themes which were then shown online: https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/arts-and-wellbeing-space