In 2016 Paintings in Hospitals partnered with the Ingram Collection to bring part of their extensive collection, spanning 100 years of British art, to care homes in the South East.

Building on our previous research and work with older people, Beside the Sea was a touring exhibition designed for a care home setting. The artworks were inspired by the sights and sounds of the British coast. They explored our connections to the sea: where people live, work and relax.

As an island nation, we have a particularly close relationship with the sea. It plays a vital role in our heritage and national identity. Coastal communities, family holidays and historic events: the sea can mean different things to different people. The Beside the Sea exhibition intended to help care home residents reminisce about their own experiences of the sea and their local landscape.

Residents and staff at Woodland Grove care home taking part in our art interpretation workshop

The artworks in Beside the Sea were loaned to us from the Ingram Collection, the largest privately owned publicly accessible collection of Modern British and Contemporary art. The collection features a broad range of artists, including works by Dame Elisabeth Frink, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Geoffrey Clarke, Lynn Chadwick, Edward Burra, Keith Vaughan, and Dame Barbara Hepworth. The Ingram Collection is committed to making its artworks widely available for both enjoyment and educational purposes, making them a perfect partner for Paintings in Hospitals.

Throughout the Beside the Sea touring exhibition, we facilitated opportunities for residents and staff of the care homes to explore the themes of the show through a number of creative activities. Woodland Grove care home was the first to take part in our art interpretation workshop.

Residents and staff at Woodland Grove care home taking part in our art interpretation workshop

The 28 residents and staff members who joined us were introduced to the themes of the Beside the Sea exhibition through group discussions. We shared our own stories and made personal connections to the artworks on display. We focused on a particular work from the exhibition (David Brayne, Fishing Season) and everyone put forward their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. We even had real shells and corals to touch and hold.

If you'd like to know more about this project, get in touch.

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