An important aspect of the Art Collection's activities is our series of special exhibitions, 'Art in Focus', which focus on work by established artists or explore a central theme through art and imagery. On display in prominent public areas, the exhibitions are freely available for the enjoyment of patients, staff and visitors.
St Mary’s Hospital
Medicine during the First World War: Inter Arma Caritas (Amidst the Arms, Love)
November 2014 – Spring 2015
‘Medicine during the First World War: Inter Arma Caritas’ (Amidst the Arms, Love) is a series of 24 images from the Imperial War Museums Archive. The works focus on the brave men and women in medicine who tended to wounded soldiers during the course of the Great War.
The exhibition, whose name is taken from the inscription on the British Red Cross Society War Service Medal, contains images taken on the battlefield including the Battle of the Somme, Passchendaele and also on the Western Front. Among the images are some taken of wounded servicemen, affected by gas and artillery, bullet wounds, gangrene and shell shock, being brought to what was Charing Cross Hospital on Agar Street in central London before it eventually moved to its current Fulham location.
Many of the images on display showcase the way in which the wounded were evacuated and treated as quickly as possible, leading to two thirds of injured British soldiers being able to return to duty. The links between St Mary’s Hospital and the military continue today, with a number of consultants and medical staff at the St Mary’s major trauma centre also serving with the military in Iraq and Syria.
The images are on display at the Cambridge Wing of St Mary’s Hospital for six months and are open to members of the public until Spring 2015.
Charing Cross Hospital
Mark Francis – Prints
January – February 2015
The repeated shapes and markings in these eight etchings and monoprints are typical of Francis’ work. Suggestive of biological forms, the paintings are based on microbiological photography of bacteria, cells, membranes, sperm, ova, seeds and tissue which reveal the underlying patterns and structures of nature.
Mark Francis was born in Newtownards, Co Down and lives in London. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art (1980-85) and Chelsea School of Art (1985-86). In 1997 he was included in the prestigious exhibition Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection at the Royal Academy of Arts, the NatWest Art Prize, London and John Moores 20, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. His work is held in numerous public collections across Europe and the United States including Tate, London, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Darren Almond: Norilsk
February 2014 – Autumn 2014
In this display of seventeen photo lithographs taken in the Siberian city of Norlisk, Almond captures the beautiful snowy landscapes of the Russian north. He said: "I spotted a dilapidated old railway bridge. I wondered when it was built, because the trees there are so dead and spindley. It turned out to have been constructed under Stalin`s gulag regime, and that 60,000 people died working on the railway. That`s how I began to discover the history of Norilsk, which was once the largest of the gulags. At the same time there is a gravity lurking beneath the remains of the Gulag camps that used to pollute the city."
Nigel Hall: Works on paper
March 2014 – March 2015
This display focuses on Hall's colourful abstract drawings. Each numbered drawing consists of deep, saturated pigments of colour which give weight to the lightness of graceful curved lines that reflect Hall’s preoccupation with space, balance and geometric forms. Nigel Hall, speaking about his drawings being on display at the hospital said: "I enjoy exploring the world, both natural and man-made, and try to understand my place within it through looking, drawing and making sculpture. I attempt to arrive at a true beauty... I find this healing and hope it affects others in a similar way."
Jane Joseph: Sea, Land and Journeying
September 2014 – February 2015
Jane Joseph is an established print maker who is particularly associated with etchings. The basis of her printmaking is always drawing from life. The etching process provides a distillation of these earlier drawings producing images of great simplicity. Joseph studied at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts and gained the Leverhulme Award for travel in Europe in 1965. Since 1980 she has lived and worked in West London, where she has been preoccupied with depicting the urban landscape. Her work is held in many public collections including the Government Art Collection, The British Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The works on display in this exhibition demonstrate both her drawing and printmaking techniques. The six ferry drawings were inspired by Joseph’s travels to the West Coast of Scotland, a trip which she does annually during the same period in September. At this time of year, she observes the change in the seasons and enjoys the opportunity to look at a different landscape before returning to London for the winter.