“Hospital Rooms aims to disrupt the barriers that limit access to art and culture for people using secure and locked mental health services.”
We catch-up with founders of Hospital Rooms, Niamh White and Tim Shaw, and discuss their mission to give meaning to visual art in care units.
Can you tell us why you founded Hospital rooms and how it all came about?
We founded Hospital Rooms after a close friend was sectioned under the mental health act and when we visited her, the unit was bleak and clinical. It was not at all conducive to recovery or rejuvenation and we were shocked that this was where she was at a time when she was so vulnerable. Our background is in the arts (Tim is an artist and Niamh is a curator). Together we thought that we could change these spaces by bringing artists into them. We’ve learned a lot over the last 2 years and we’ve now developed a really meaningful co-production process where fantastic world class artists work in close collaboration with patients and clinical teams to reimagine what a mental health unit could be. We’re also delivering arts workshops in the units to make creative activity more available to patients. Some people are aspiring artists with abundant talents, some are encountering art for the first time and exploring what it can mean for them. We aim to not only improve the environment, but to disrupt the barriers that people face in accessing art and culture and in doing so bring about a sense of social connectedness and inclusion for some of our most vulnerable.
We think that our latest project at Eileen Skellern 1 Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for women at Maudsley Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust demonstrated the gold standard of multi disciplinary collaboration from our team, the clinical staff, the artists and our partners. In PICU, the environment is intensively managed to keep patients safe and aid recovery.
We were offered the necessary support to not let that compromise the ambitiousness of an artists vision or scale of work. The staff provided all the correct conditions to support patient engagement and were adventurous in the measures they were willing to take to facilitate artists, whether that meant making extra staff available or leaders encouraging their teams and giving advice.
How do artists get involved and work with Hospital Rooms?
We think very carefully about the artists that we invite to participate in Hospital Rooms projects. In the first instance they must have a level of professional expertise that equips them to deal with all of the regulations and restrictions we face in meeting NHS compliancy around robustness, infection control and ligature risk – this includes not having any framing, glazing, screws, free standing items or canvas. In addition, we need them to have a collaborative aspect to their practice so that they are able to engage with the communities we work with, listen to them, lead sessions with them and interpret their thoughts and ideas in imaginative ways. We also try to reflect the groups we work with for example, if it’s a women’s ward, we may think is it important to work with majority women artists. In addition, we are keen to work with artists who have used the mental health system or have a connection to it. It is important that that some of the artists are able to draw on personal experience when creating their work.
We are approached regularly by artists who would like to work with us and we’re always thrilled to hear from people. At present, our projects take place relatively slowly and so we only commission a certain number per year. As we grow, that will change!
How do you measure the impact Hospital Rooms has on the institutions and organisations you work with?
We have a range of methods to measure the impact of our work and we’re constantly working on improving them. We monitor people’s experiences before, during and after a project takes place. This is usually with the support of the clinical teams we work with. We’ve also ventured into creative means of evaluating our work. We’ve lead collage workshops with images of the ward environment, artworks and text and asked patients to reflect on their experience through a piece of their own work. We’ve also used creative methods with staff such as a ‘Visual Matrix’, which aids conversation and brings about some rich reflections on the project.
You’ve been working closely with the Metro Imaging team for some of the installations and exhibitions, how do you find the production process and are the environments you work in challenging for installing artworks?
The environments we are working in are some of the most challenging clinical spaces. It took us 18 months to convince the first hospital to work with us because the general belief was that it just couldn’t be done. From the very beginning, Metro has worked with offered us amazing support in achieving both museum quality prints that are also suitable for these spaces, being wipe clean, scratch proof and do not need glazing or framing. Many of our other artists have worked in close collaboration with Steve and Simon to meet those goals and we were thrilled with the results they achieved. This was particularly relevant for the work of Anish Kapoor and Tamsin Relly, where all parties undertook numerous tests as they were not willing to compromise on quality for this community. Steve Macleod (Metro Imaging Director) was one of the artists on our first project, and he created a series of beautiful landscapes that were printed on dibond and vinyl. It’s inspirational.
What is the next project for you?
We have just met our funding target for a new project at a locked male rehabilitation ward in London.
We’ve recently received a great deal of press coverage, including a feature on Channel 4 News, and in response we’ve been inundated with requests from mental health units who wish to work with us. We are upping our game and working on increasing our impact and reach!
Are the artworks from Hospital Rooms projects available to purchase?
Ordinarily the artworks created for Hospital Rooms are specifically made for the units we work in and are not available to purchase. However, we have just released our very first limited edition print by Tamsin Relly, that was printed by Metro. It is a beautifully luscious scene of green forest with vibrant pink flowers, and proceeds from the sale go towards our most urgent upcoming work. These are available to buy through the Hospital Rooms website: www.hospital-rooms.com
How else can people support Hospital Rooms?
The key way that people can support Hospital Rooms is through fundraising. The need for our work is so apparent and our projects reach some of the most vulnerable members of our society. From partnerships with businesses, personal fundraising events, regular donors or sponsored activities, every penny helps us to continue our work to bring brilliant art to those who face the biggest barriers to access it.
Hospital Rooms are in residency on our Instagram gallery all this week (29th May – 3rd June), follow us to see more from this incredible organisation and their wonderful artists.
Supporting Royal College of Art students throughout dedicated programmes.
Overhaul brings together artists Rhiannon Adam, Natasha Caruana, and Laura Pannack to transform a derelict terraced house in Peckham. Metro Imaging are pleased to work with both Rhiannon Adam and Laura Pannack, producing 11 Duratran prints for the show; this collaborative project is exhibiting all new and unseen work at Safehouse 1, as part of Peckham 24, 2018.
The exhibition explores the collision of collaboration, science, and research led enquiries drawing from The Peckham Experiment (1926-1950); a revolutionary initiative set-up to study rising concerns over health and well-being. The initiative worked with 950 local families living within one mile of the experiment’s base, the Pioneer Health Centre, St Mary’s Road, Peckham.
Working together, Laura Pannack and Rhiannon Adam open their sketchbook to share their process, using experimental analogue processes to assess how we diagnose and define health. As part of the Peckham Experiment, member families would subject themselves to an annual health overhaul, in which biological samples would be collected alongside psychological assessments. Pannack and Adam have recruited families living within the Experiment’s boundaries to take part in the project, inviting them to contribute their image and samples. The analogue film has then been immersed in the samples prior to development, creating a unique and unpredictable biological imprint of each participant. The project explores the notion of portraiture – capturing an essence of the unseen, playfully suggesting ways in which the image can contribute to self-discovery. Their findings discuss the never-ending search for absolute health.
Also featured is the work of Natasa Caruana, plus a series of images created during a one-day group assignment with recruited participants from the photography community.
Opening Party and Special Events as part of Peckham 24 Festival:
Friday 6pm – 11pm
Saturday 10am – 7pm
Sunday 10am – 6pm
Safehouse 1, 139 Copeland Road, London, SE15 3SN
IMG © Laura Pannack
“Within the vast disaster area, the boundaries between the city and nature had been shattered right in front of my eyes. I was forced to think about the inevitable limitations of photography and how impossible it is to record all of actual reality” – Taisuke Koyama
Metro are excited to be working with Seen Fifteen for Taisuke Koyama solo exhibition, SENSOR CODE which opens as part of Peckham 24 Festival on Friday 18th May 2018. Working closely with the gallery, our team produced a set of bespoke frames for this unique body of work.
For this new exhibition, Koyama will present abstract photographic works from four recent projects, which employ experimental strategies using digital sensors. The reactions of light onto the sensors in digital cameras and scanners resolve into unique colours and patterns, which in turn create Koyama’s own visual language. Releasing abstract photography from its heritage in materiality is an ongoing area of interest for the artist. So too is a paradoxical desire to design installations that become a physical experience.
The works at Seen Fifteen will be presented as large inkjet prints, suspended from the ceiling in a maze of sculptural images for the viewer to journey around. In our contemporary world, where we are completely saturated by a never-ending stream of digitally transmitted images, the artist’s intention within the gallery space is to invoke a contradictory sensation. By dominating the room with large-scale prints he aims to force us to feel the images as well as look at them.
Opening Party and Special Events as part of Peckham 24 Festival: Friday 18 May 2018, 6pm-2am Seen Fifteen, B Stairs, The Bussey Building, 133 Copeland Road, London SE15 3SN
IMG © Taisuke Koyama
Metro is delighted to be collaborating with Michael Hoppen Gallery to produce bespoke framing and mounting for Tim Walker’s ‘The Gully Queens‘ to be shown at Photo London 2018.
The Gully Queens Jamaica, 2018 – is an exclusive limited edition of 30 signed prints with all proceeds (100%) donated to the Gully Queens Charity
“I found the notion of an aggression towards homosexuality in Jamaica sad and regressive. To me, the Gully Queens are emblematic of this injustice which is what led me to photograph them.” – Tim Walker says of this particular work.
Pop by the Michael Hoppen Gallery Stand C1 at Photo London fair to see this beautiful piece on show and chat with their wonderful team.
IMG © Tim Walker
The Gully Queens:
Health, Safety and Housing concerns continue to go unaddressed for a subset of the Homeless & Displaced LGBT persons who reside across Jamaica. Many have resided in the storm drains of the business district known as New Kingston have also repeatedly been displaced by the police and city council. They continue to be engaged in sex work as a means of survival which increases their health risk as higher paying clients often demand unprotected sex. There is also an increase in the use of alcohol and illicit drugs (shown by 85% of respondents who use alcohol and illicit drugs to suppress their depression) which can be sources of vulnerability. 99% of the clientele have indicated that their drug and alcohol use significantly affects their practice of safe sex.
The Gully Queens have both physical and mental scars as evidence of trying to survive on Jamaica’s volatile streets. Because they do not conform to gender norms, they have been disowned by family, threatened, stoned, attacked, and even shot. They are repeatedly evicted from spaces where they have sought refuge, and arsonists often set fire to their belongings. They are nomadic, and have in some cases have developed dysfunctional behavior as means of survival, disrupting the broader communities where they live. The majority express the desire for stability, and the need to see hope for the future.
Since 2015, the Gully Queens Charity has been able to secure a series of small grants that have allowed short-term/ emergency interventions by taking many of the homeless LGBT community off the streets. Larry Chang Foundation’s program is designed to reduce premature death and restore hope within our clientele by providing:
– Shelter; providing safe shelter in various models (group housing or independent living)
– Improve Health Outcomes; individualised care plans, meals that support diet plans & access to and retention in discrimination free healthcare
– Psychosocial support & Life Skills Training; Provide access to counselling sessions (group and one-on-one) based on care plans as well as Empowerment sessions utilising ‘you empowerment GPA’ model
– Improve Employability; remedial educational programmes, employability workshops, and readiness seminars & documentation such identification, TRN etc
A new major exhibition London Nights opens at the Museum of London this month, in which the diversity of the city of London after dark is explored, through both contemporary and historic imagery, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.
Split into three sections the exhibition focuses on London Illuminated, which showcases the variety of ways in which photographers have been inspired by and captured the aesthetic of the city at night, depicting London illuminated by limited natural and artificial light in contrast to the familiar daytime.
Dark Matters explores the mysterious, unknown and potentially uncomfortable – the darker side of the city. In this section, visitors will be immersed in imagery relating to night-walking, the blackout of the Blitz, isolation, threat, and vulnerability.
The final section Switch On…Switch Off…focuses on Londoners at work, rest and play in the city after dark. From the familiar commute home, the quick change of pace as office workers head out for the night or as workers commence their night shift
The diverse exhibition features immersive film plus over 200 images from more than 50 artists, including lesser known and emerging photographers to the more established and recognised Bill Brandt, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Rut Blees Luxemburg.
Metro is delighted to have been involved, producing C-type and Black & White fibre prints and scanning images for photographers who have work featured in the exhibition: Will Eckersley’s 2011 series ‘Dark City’, images from the late Tish Murtha’s 1983 project, ‘London By Night’ and Marc Vallée’s 2016 project, ‘Vandals in the City’.
There will also be a range of programmed events happening at the museum in relation to the exhibition including evening, weekday and weekend workshops and events. Further information can be found here.
Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Exhibition dates: 11th May – 11th November 2018
Opening times: 10:00am – 6:00pm (galleries close at 5.40pm)
Admission starts at £10. Book here.
Image 1 © Marc Vallée
Image 2 © Tish Murtha
Iconic Images will exhibit its full roster of world-renowned photographers at Photo London, showcasing images that have never been exhibited before, including vintage works by pioneering British photographers Terry O’Neill and Norman Parkinson. O’Neill chronicled the rise of youth culture in the 60s, charting emerging rock and roll bands before working with the biggest names in and cinema, from the 60s to present day.
Don’t miss these rare and vintage photographs at G22 and F14 at Photo London at Somerset House from May 17th – 20th.
Other iconic works featured include Douglas Kirkland, Milton Greene, Markus Klinko, Jerry Schatzberg, John Swannell, Terence Donovan, Gered Mankowitz and Norman Seeff.
IMG: Terry O’Neill signing large Fibre limited edition prints at Metro Imaging.
Next week Leica Studio Mayfair will host the book launch and corresponding exhibition for the poignant series Photographers Against Wildlife Crime. This collective body of work will feature a selection of fine art giclée prints produced with the team here Metro Imaging.
Founded by Britta Jaschinski and Keith Wilson, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime™ are an international group of award-winning photographers that have joined forces to use their powerful and iconic images to help bring an end to the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetime.
The exhibition is running from May 14 to June 7, at the Leica Studio Mayfair and will officially launch on the 18th of May, 2018. For all further info and trailer to the series of work see: www.photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com
Photographers Against Wildlife Crime™ are:
Adam Oswell • Adrian Steirn • Brent Stirton • Brian Skerry • Britta Jaschinski • Bruno D’Amicis • Charlie Hamilton James • Chris Packham • Daniel Beltra • Jim Brandenburg • Jo-Anne McArthur • Karl Ammann • Klaus Nigge • Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols • Neil Aldridge • Ole J Liodden • Olly & Suzi • Patrick Brown • Paul Hilton • Peter Chadwick • Steve Winter • Sudhir Shivaram • Tony Wu • Zheng Xiaoqun • Writer: Keith Wilson
IMG 1 © Adrian Steirn
IMG 2 © Olly & Suzi
This week the Chelsea based, contemporary art gallery Box Galleries are launching FAME – their exclusive collection of unseen photographs by Andy Gotts, alongside a classic collection of icons by Terry O Neill and Douglas Kirkland.
Metro have been privileged to work with all three of these iconic photographers over the years, producing a range of fine art giclée, digital c-types and true black and white prints for a variety of exhibitions and collections.
Andy Gotts MBE MA is most noted for his black and white portraits of Hollywood actors and singers. Since 1990 Gotts’ work has been published internationally and has appeared in many magazines, including French Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair.
The National Portrait Gallery holds a selection of his photographs in their permanent collection and in 2009 Gotts was honoured with the presentation of the Fox Talbot Award.
IMG © ANDY GOTTS
Tailored support and dedicated programmes for University of Suffolk students.
With the count down to Photo London 2018 in full swing we look at some highlights and ‘must-sees’ at this years fair.
Hala -Steve Macleod, Black Box Projects
“The longer we stare at nothing, the more chance that something will appear to us, creating an unfathomable aura and thoughtful meaning.” – Steve Macleod says of new series Hala, a project inspired by photographs captured by British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger. This new body of work documents the vast landscape of the Al Hajar Peninsula in the United Arab Emirates, one of the most desolate and inhospitable areas in the region. The mountain range offers a true vision of wilderness; empty and devoid of human presence.
Hala will be shown for the first time as part of Photo London with Black Box Projects and include limited edition fine art Giclée prints produced here at Metro Imaging on both Hahnemühle Photo Rag and German Etching papers.
Steve Macleod is a British landscape photographer whose career has spanned over 20 years. He shoots on a large-format camera, using nature to share the conceptual impact and influence it can have on our emotions; our health and our imagination
Black Box Projects specialises in contemporary photography and contemporary art that is created using photographic materials. The gallery is committed to working with artists who push the limits of traditional photographic practice. The gallery does not keep a permanent space, instead it arranges pop-up exhibitions in order to tailor the experience to the individual needs of the artist and the work.
“For Photo London 2018, Black Box Projects presents Steve Macleod’s latest series and the UK debut of ‘Hala’. Shot in the United Arab Emirates between 2015-2017, it is the first time Macleod has published work taken outside of the UK. The series is printed as archival inkjet on highly textured watercolour paper giving the works a painterly style reminiscent of early Japanese watercolours and a tactile quality that harks back to Pictorialist aesthetic values.” – Black Box Projects on Macleod’s series Hala.
Check out ‘Hala’ with The Black Box Projects at Photo London in the Discovery section of the fair form May 17th – May 20th at Somerset House.
ALL IMAGES © Steve Macleod
Ahead of Photo London 2018 we’re highlighting some of the work by our wonderful clients showing at Somerset House this May.
Dazzle Site Installation for ‘On the Heights’ – Tom Lovelace
Late last year the ‘On the Heights’ exhibition showcased new work by four artists; from Miriam Austin, Sam Belinfante, Tom Lovelace and Frances Scot. The work was produced when all four artists were invited to spend two weeks living and working at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) in April 2017.
The work explores the history, stories and landscape of the area, presenting a new dialogue between nature and experimental contemporary art practice for visitors to explore whilst extending YSP’s history of building relationships with and supporting young and emerging artists through the visiting artist programme.
Metro worked with Tom Lovelace producing C-Type prints for part of his installation which sensitively considers the extraordinary setting of YSP. Considering slippages in the manipulated landscape, Tom’s work prompts moments of uncertainty and doubt across various locations in the Park.
For this years Photo London, Flowers Gallery will be exhibiting some of Lovelace’s work from YSP as part of their fair program.
Tom Lovelace lives and works in London. He studied Photography at the Arts University Bournemouth, receiving First Class Honours before studying Art History at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Lovelace works at the intersection of photography, performance and sculpture. His practice is grounded in a reinvention of everyday objects, materials and processes.
In 2015, Lovelace was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Foam Paul Huf Award and the Prix Pictet Award. He has exhibited across Britain, Europe and the United States. Recent exhibitions include Groundwork (New Art Centre, Salisbury 2015), Mirage Valley (Lendi Projects, Switzerland 2015), To Camera (Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2015), This Way Up (Flowers Gallery, London 2015), Against Nature (London Art Fair, 2015), Project 05 (Contemporary Art Society, London 2014), Ristruttura (Project B Gallery, Milan 2012) and Uncommon Ground (Flowers Gallery, London 2012).
Established in 1970 by Angela Flowers, Flowers Gallery has two London exhibition spaces in Mayfair and Shoreditch along with a New York Gallery in Chelsea. Flowers Gallery currently represents 48 international artists working across a diverse range of media, with a dedicated photography space, established in 2008, recognised for its engagement with important socio-cultural, political and environmental themes.
ALL IMG © TOM LOVELACE
Hopkirks’ project investigates the human cost of austerity on Lambeth, telling local stories that highlight national issues. He will be featuring seven or eight stories relating to austerity, one of which will be about the fantastic Glass Door’s winter shelter and another about the good work done by the wonderful team at Ace of Clubs.
“The issues I explore are not unique to south London. What’s happening here is affecting communities all over the UK. But this is my community, and in the course of producing this work I’ve encountered hardship that I simply didn’t realise still existed in this country, let alone on my doorstep.
At the same time, I’ve found countless examples of extraordinary kindness, of people – friends, family, neighbours, volunteers, support workers – going to enormous lengths to help others, sometimes when they themselves are barely getting by.
With the stories I publish here I want to offer a view of London that is seldom seen, and feature voices that are often ignored.” Says James of his ongoing project.
The launch at Ace of Clubs on 10 May, 6-9PM will feature the full exhibition and the chance to explore the facilities at the centre along with Q&A with manager Sarah about homelessness and the work they do.
RSVP: Email firstname.lastname@example.org you will then be be sent further details and added to the guest list.
The exhibition will also be open on Saturday 12 May from 12-5pm when you can just turn up.
ALL IMAGES © JAMES HOPKIRK
With Photo London 2018 just around the corner, we look at the photography and artists to visit at these years fair and satellite events.
‘Black Palms’ by Karine Laval
Born in Paris, Karine Laval currently lives and works in New York. Educated at the University of La Sorbonne and the University of ASSAS in Paris, she studied communication and journalism, and completed her education with photography and design courses at Cooper Union, SVA and the New School of New York.
Since the beginning of her career, Laval has alternated agency and magazine commissions and publications (Here is New York 2002) with an artistic practice, that combines portraiture of personalities from the cultural world with images of geographical locations (France, Norway, Portugal, Cuba) and visual narratives.
Her photographs are notably spontaneous and reminiscent of the photographs of masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson or William Eggleston, with whom she shares a similar use of colour as an expressive tool.
Crane Kalman Brighton has been established to provide an affordable introduction for anyone interested to buy, and possibly, collect photography. Crane Kalman Brighton sells a wide range of work from the best young local talent to some of contemporary photography’s leading lights.
Visit Crane Kalman at Photo London 2018 and see some of Karine’s latest works on show.
Tailored support to students from University of the Arts London – London College of Communication.
Supporting Photomasters Shows at The Old Truman Brewery.