Caring for, interpreting and celebrating the art collection in Milton Keynes University Hospital.
Look Around You is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project began in January 2017 and is due to finish in Spring 2018.
We recruited a team of volunteers who had previously attended Arts on Prescription and are living with ongoing health challenges. The volunteers received a programme of training covering all aspects of caring for and interpreting artwork including Conservation with Bucks County Museum, Researching Artwork with the Courtauld Institute, Interpretation with Interpretation Matters, Curation with Paintings in Hospitals, and Recording Social History with the Living Archive.
Volunteers have been researching the artwork in the collection in preparation for an art trail app and in order to update the database.
On Friday 8th September we held a ‘Live Art Guides’ event as part of Heritage Week, where a team of volunteers talked to visitors about the artwork in the hospital. The feedback from the event was excellent and we hope to repeat it soon.
The Aubrey Williams painting and the two Stephen Gregory paintings went to London for restoration and repair. They are now back on the walls in a much better condition.
52 pieces from the store went to DMR Framing in Milton Keynes for reframing. The large Siripan Kidd quilt has also went for reframing. All the work is now hung in what was the Temporary Exhibition Corridor on Level 2 – renamed the ‘Look Around You’ corridor, and in various other locations around the hospital.
We worked with carnival arts company Festive Road and pupils from Langland School to create a lantern procession on Thursday 9th November featuring a giant Florence Nightingale puppet. The procession was the recreation of an event organised by the Hospital Action Group in 1976, as part of the campaign to build a hospital for Milton Keynes. It coincided with the launch of several new exhibitions (including work in the Level 2 corridor) – with the hope of bringing a wider audience to see them.
Also as part of Look Around You, an art trail app is being developed and is due to launch in 2018. The app is designed to provide engaging information on the artworks, highlighting links to Milton Keynes and the hospital. It is especially aimed at patients and visitors who may be spending a long time in the hospital and would welcome a diversion.