Staff, patients and volunteers at Nottingham’s hospitals have the chance to play a starring role in the NHS’s 75th anniversary later this year.
The first of three murals has been unveiled at Nottingham’s Ropewalk House and features real staff and volunteers.
Funded by the Medical Staff Committee (MSC), a further two murals will be installed at Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital over the summer to mark the NHS’s 75th anniversary – and you can get involved.
The MSC represents the views of doctors and consultants to the Executive Team and voted to use legacy funds from previous members on art work.
Megan Dawes, NUH Arts Co-ordinator, said: “The MSC and Arts Steering Group felt strongly that there should be a piece for each site representing the people who work and receive care there.”
Artists were asked to submit a proposal outlining their ideas, with a portfolio of previous commissions and a CV.
The MSC and the steering group, along with patient representatives, chose Handmade Theatre.
Amy Nicholson and Suzy Gunn - founders of HandMade Theatre - took part in a consultation process with staff and patients, and collected and shared images and stories.
“As a theatre company we specialise in telling stories and that’s just what a mural aims to do,” said Amy. “We love to create bespoke work which connects directly to people and places.”
“Lots of time went into the consultation and development of the design. Gaining feedback throughout the process is important. It was great to talk to people and get new ideas.”
Consultant Laura Daunt said: “We hope that this mural enriches the spaces and provides interest and pleasure for staff and patients alike. It’s been an exciting project and a wonderful collaboration with HandMade Theatre. We look forward to seeing the end result.”
Amy said: “There were lots of stories and people they wanted to include so we needed a way to include lots of smaller images within the larger picture. The architecture of the buildings were also important so that’s how the concept of windows evolved. Celebrating the important people working and visiting the hospital was a key factor in making the mural meaningful.
“It took me and fellow artist Lizzie Meakin a week to actually paint it – and it created a real buzz in the building. Lots of people came down and enjoyed spotting colleagues they knew featured in the artwork.”
“I hope the staff we included are proud of the contribution they make to the Ropewalk team and enjoy being recognised through the mural.”
Claire Benton, Head of Audiology at Ropewalk House, said: “The mural is brilliant. Lots of patients and visitors have commented on it - it reflects the staff who work here, what we all do and the history of Ropewalk House itself.
“It has really cheered everyone up and there is great excitement about it capturing members of our team so accurately – HandMade Theatre was a great choice!”
Chief Executive Anthony May DL said: “The new mural captures the excellent patient care delivered by colleagues every day at Ropewalk House. I am grateful for the Medical Staff Committee and HandMade Theatre for creating a fitting tribute ahead of the NHS 75 birthday celebrations.”
The next two murals will be installed on B Floor at QMC, towards West Block lifts, next to AMRA, and next to Sherwood Hall at City.
Megan said: “There is an ongoing consultation process for QMC and City, asking people to share what they would like to see in the ‘window’ at their site, in words or pictures.
“Anyone who has an idea or photo that they’d like to feature in the mural please email me - email@example.com - by Friday 19 May. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all photos will be included in the mural/s but the artists will do their best to represent as many areas as possible.”
See how the mural unfolded: Handmade Theatre are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - @handmadetheatre.