We received funding from the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust to launch and administer the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA), an annual artist-in-residence project held in five different hospitals from 2005 to 2009.

Each residency was developed to support patients with serious or rare conditions: children with red blood disorders, adults suffering from dementia, women in complicated pregnancies, adolescents treated for cancer and adults treated for neurological conditions.

The five residencies benefitted a total of 1,400 patients and 80 members of staff.

The Award aimed to not only provide an opportunity for the different healthcare audiences to experience the creative process of an artist and the therapeutic benefits this provides.

Each artist stayed in residence for up to twelve weeks producing a series of artworks, one of which was gifted to the host hospital while another was integrated into the charity's collection. The five recipients of the Award were:

  • Construction artist Sean Michael at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London (2005)
  • Installation artist Françoise Dupré at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford (2006)
  • Photographer Malcolm Glover at Mile End Hospital, London (2007)
  • Mixed Media artist Jeremy Hutchison at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (2008)
  • Glass artist Alex R at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London (2009)

Overall the project achieved more than initially set out. Upon reviewing the feedback captured throughout the project, it has shown that the artist residencies helped support clinical outcomes of patients and improve communication within the units in which the activities were based. Healthcare sites were transformed by the experience and were able to see the benefit of continuing an arts programme at the end of the residency. In three of the five units, artist-in-residence activities were incorporated in subsequent years.

The residency was inspirational and provided a positive distraction for patients during anxious times.

Staff member, Foetal Maternal Medicine Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

The value of incorporating therapy into meaningful activity cannot be underestimated and is one of the principles of rehabilitation.

Senior Social Work Practitioner, NRU, National Hospital, London

I am delighted that so many people seem keen on engaging with the photography – it definitely feels like it is the start of a new approach to working creatively with patients.

Staff member, Gerry Bennett Ward, Mile End Hospital, London

See more of our past projects...