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
Sandra Blow RA (1925-2006)
Works by the British abstract painter, Sandra Blow RA, have gone on display in the Cambridge Wing Gallery at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
Imperial Health Charity, which manages the art collection at all five Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals, has organised the collection of prints, generously loaned by Sandra Blow’s estate for 18 months.
Blow (1915-2006) is credited as being at the forefront of the abstract art movement in Britain. In 1957, Blow featured in the first John Moores biannual exhibition in Liverpool, won the International Guggenheim Award in 1960 and second prize at the third John Moores exhibition in 1961. The majority of works on display, including Double Diamond (2003) and Revolve (2003), date from the last decade of her life.
Alice Strickland, Art Curator at Imperial Health Charity, said: “We’re incredibly proud to bring Sandra Blow’s work to St Mary’s. The Trust’s art collection has a tremendous impact on patients, staff and visitors and helps to create a stimulating, enriching environment.”
“Sandra Blow was a pioneer of the British post-war abstract movement and these bold, joyful works are a wonderful display in the hospital.”
The installation was officially unveiled at a reception attended by Trust staff and members of Blow’s family. The collection will be displayed at the St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals, spending six months at each location.
The charity’s current exhibitions include a series of coastal etchings by Norman Ackroyd RA at Charing Cross Hospital and Capturing the Light at Hammersmith Hospital, which focuses on three artists and their exploration of light.
Charing Cross Hospital
Fay Ballard is a British artist based in London. Her works have been displayed in the Huntington Library and Art Collections in Los Angeles, New Hall Art Collection and Winsor and Newton. She was commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales to paint watercolours for his estate in the Cotswolds and in 2007 was elected to the Royal Watercolour Society.
The works on display include three of Fay Ballard’s Memory Boxes. Each shows an array of beautifully observed objects including those found by Ballard on return to her childhood home after the death of her father J.G. Ballard in 2009. Other works demonstrate her interest in nature, such as Homage to Durer, a tribute to Albrecht Dürer’s masterpiece Great Piece of Turf (1503), a meticulous observation of wild flowers.
Ballard says of this exhibition: “I am delighted to be able to share my work with patients, visitors and staff at Charing Cross Hospital. Coming to hospital can be an anxious time and I hope that my drawings bring some comfort, joy and beauty. The NHS is our national treasure and what better place to exhibit than here.”
Ballard is an active supporter of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and holds weekly art workshops for patients undergoing dialysis at Hammersmith Hospital. Her deep art historical knowledge and conversations with patients has led to a beautifully written and illustrated blog: imperialhealthcharity.wordpress.com
Norman Ackroyd RA (born 1938) is a British artist working in London. The etchings on display here showcase his investigation of the coastline of Ireland and Scotland.
They offer viewers the opportunity to witness the beauty of the archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of Britain,and the Stags of Broadhaven,located off the north-west coast of Ireland, which rise to almost 100 metres above sea level.
The exploration of landscapes is a recurrent theme in Ackroyd's work. He has sketched on boats sailing around the coast of Ireland, captured the beauty of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the Norfolk coastline at Blakeney and Holkham.
Over the course of his career, Ackroyd has received several public mural commissions, produced in etched stainless steel or bronze. Recent commissions include murals for the Main Hall of the British Embassy in Moscow, the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University depicting the Galapagos Islands and the headquarters of Lazards Bank at Green Park in London.
In 2013 Ackroyd was featured in the BBC television series What Do Artists Do All Day? and his work is held in many public collections, including the Tate in London, the British Council Collection, the Arts Council Collection and the London and British Museum.
All the works on display have been generously gifted to the charity's art collection by the artist. After opening at Charing Cross Hospital in November 2016, the exhibition will move to St Mary's and Hammersmith hospitals this year.
The display is accompanied by a map, The Furthest Lands: A Journey to the Western Shores, designed by Ackroyd himself. It shows all the locations of the works on display.
The suggested donation for a map is £3. Please text NORM17 to 70070 with the amount you wish to donate.
The charity is extremely grateful for the generosity Norman Ackroyd has shown in realising this exhibition and the donation of his works.
He writes: "Art in hospitals is a profound and wonderful initiative. London hospitals have for a long time subscribed to the idea that art can be calming, sustaining and enlightening to both patients and visitors.
"I am honoured to have been asked to add to this important collection with a body of work produced on the extreme edges of our islands."
We're proud to have a display of works by the photographer, Fay Godwin, kindly on loan from the British Council Collection.
The exhibition at Hammersmith Hospital showcases twenty of Fay Godwin’s striking black and white images of the British countryside and feature many familiar places including Derwent Water in the Lake District, the White Cliffs of Dover and the coast of North Cornwall.
Alice Strickland, Art Curator at Imperial Health Charity, said: “We’re tremendously privileged to be able to show Fay Godwin’s work at Hammersmith Hospital. These works beautifully illustrate her love of walking, which inspired her to pursue landscape photography”.
The daughter of a British diplomat and an American artist, she first became interested in photography when capturing her young children. In 1984, a collection of Godwin’s work, including those now on display at Hammersmith, began a world tour by the British Council. She was passionate about nature and was President of the Ramblers’ Association between 1987 and 1990.
In 2008, The British Library acquired Fay Godwin’s archive which included the entire contents of her studio. She also had the honour of being the subject of the South Bank Show’s first full-length documentary dedicated to a photographer. Her work can currently be seen in the exhibition Britain in Focus: A Photographic History at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford.
The photographs are on loan for 18 months and will tour the Charing Cross and St Mary’s Hospitals. The art collection’s current exhibitions include a series of coastal etchings by Norman Ackroyd RA at Charing Cross hospital and prints by Sandra Blow RA at St Mary’s hospital. To find out more about the charity’s art collection, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/art-collections
The distinguished photographer Jorge Lewinski recorded many of the eminent style-makers of his time. These included the fashion designer, Mary Quant, the stylist Vidal Sassoon and the film maker, Ken Loach.
Lewinski wrote incisively about photography, stating that he wanted to "achieve a deeper kind of portrait - portraits which not only describe a person but give the viewer an insight into the imaginative world of each sitter".
The selection of 25 portraits of British artists shown here reveals how Lewinski made connections between the sitter and their setting, in this case focusing on the artists’ studios. The photographs demonstrate Lewinski’s exploration of each artist’s private world.
Lewinski chose to work with black and white even though colour photography had become more common from the mid-twentieth century.