Location: Bow, London

Date: August 2019

Beautiful, colourful, interesting and cheerful.

About the Project

Situated in a busy area of Bow, Greater London, Coopers Court provides apartments and communal facilities for over 55s. Care needs are diverse with some residents experiencing mobility issues, mental health problems and dementia. Coopers Court is designed to offer comfort and independence for its residents to enable them to enjoy a happy, fulfilling retirement.

Coopers Court wanted to partner with Paintings in Hospitals to introduce artworks from the Paintings in Hospitals collection into their reception and communal corridor areas, which currently have very little on display. The aim of the partnership was to create a more welcoming atmosphere in order to support the wellbeing of and communication between their residents, care staff and visitors.

Residents selecting new artworks for their communal spaces at Coopers Court

The Activity

As with all Paintings in Hospitals projects, the artworks to go on display at Coopers Court would be democratically selected by the residents through a co-curation workshop. This workshop was facilitated by Paintings in Hospitals loans coordinator Hannah. The objectives of this workshop were:

  • To introduce a number of artworks from which residents could choose a final ten to go on display
  • For residents to learn a little about the history and techniques of the artworks and artists involved
  • To provide an opportunity for residents and staff to talk and socialise
  • To empower residents to ask questions, voice opinions and to make decisions about their communal spaces.

Gail Brodholt, Night Owls on the Northern Line, 2007

Gail Brodholt, Night Owls on the Northern Line, 2007

Makes me think of my childhood…when I used to skive school travelling on the Tube.

Impact

After an introduction to Paintings in Hospitals, the participating residents were keen to see the artworks and give their honest opinions. Residents and staff worked together to view the artworks and give them each a score out of ten, saying how each made them feel.

Overall, reactions to the artworks were overwhelmingly positive. The workshop was lively, with residents becoming chatty and friendly – even a little flirty!

Several of the artworks provided opportunities for reminiscence for older residents and provided jumping-off points for discussions with the rest of the group. Residents left the workshop uplifted and energised.

Reminds me of the living room…I love cats and we used to have a cat called Boo-Boo.

Next Steps

Adding up all votes from the Coopers Court residents, the final selection of ten artworks was made. These artworks will go on loan to Coopers Court for the next two years and will be installed at the site by Paintings in Hospitals in just a few weeks’ time. Options for more engagement activities, including artmaking and art technique workshops inspired by the chosen artworks, are available to ensure continued interaction and making of meaningful connections with the art.

We hope the artworks at Coopers Court will become a valuable talking point for residents, staff and visitors.

Sanctuary Retirement Living

Find out more about Paintings in Hospitals art loans and activities...