Flora & fauna by Sutapa Biswas
Flora & fauna by Sutapa Biswas
A work of art

How world-class artists have come together to improve the environment at Highgate Mental Health Centre.

The impact of artwork on dementia and mental health environments is illustrated at Garnet Ward, a locked unit for older people with dementia and other challenges at Highgate Mental Health Centre.

Hospital Rooms worked with Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust to commission six world-class artists to create a series of artworks for the facility.

Each artist ran a workshop, inviting members of the community to contribute their ideas to the project.

And they capitalised on the older residents’ own skills, knowledge and experiences that came to light during these sessions to guide their work, while also referring to existing research on interior design for dementia environments.

Flora & fauna by Sutapa Biswas
Artist Sutapa Biswas, was particularly interested in the residents’ recollection of the flora and fauna they had encountered in places they had lived or visited during their lives, and the domestic gardens they had tended to.

In response, she created an imaginary and scientifically-impossible garden mural that houses foliage from various climes around the world.

Abstracts by Yukako Shibata
For a quiet nook at the centre, Yukako Shibata painted layers of transparent colours on top of one another to create an abstract and airy atmosphere that is open to different interpretation by each individual.

Stained glass style by Michael O’Reilly
Michael O’Reilly, a scenic painter from the Royal Opera House, drew on the experience of his own grandma. She had dementia and had been captivated by a stained-glass window in the hospital chapel on the Channel Island of Jersey. So he designed a painting of a wooded scene, which has all the glowing qualities of stained glass.

Other artworks
Works were also provided by Tim A Shaw, Richard Wentworth, and Aimee Parrott.

The project was funded by Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation, and through Hospital Rooms’ friends and supporters. Materials were donated by Colart brand, Liquitex.

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