Lie on an artist-designed hospital bed at Hauser & Wirth to raise money for Hospital Rooms

An exhibition at Hauser & Wirth gallery, created alongside mental health charity Hospital Rooms, invites a series of acclaimed artists to reimagine clinical spaces in a way which promotes healing

Sutapa Biswas, Atrium, Springfield Hospital.

Damian Griffiths

As part of an ongoing collaboration, mental health charity Hospital Rooms is partnering with Hauser & Wirth gallery in London on an exhibition and accompanying auction, with the aim of raising a total of £1 million to support the charity’s many initiatives.

Since it was founded in 2016 by Artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White, Hospital Rooms has worked with an impressive number of artists and galleries on fundraising initiatives and site-specific projects, with the aim of creating engaging environments which encourage support and healing in mental health facilities.

This new exhibition, ‘Holding Space’, opens on 17th August at Hauser & Wirth on Savile Row, W1S. It brings together the various projects and experiences of artists that Hospital Rooms has worked with previously. The multi-sensory exhibition transcends several different mediums: from painting to soundscaping, light displays and even the sense of comfort induced by lying down in bed.

The exhibition’s theme is a response to the often clinical environments of mental health facilities. The objective is to explore whether - through colour, art, design and sound - it might be possible to soften these spaces, creating places which are both conducive to healing as well as feeling comforting for those in a vulnerable state. It is with this question in mind that the participating artists have created their works.

The gallery space itself will be enveloped in a mural, created by Sutapa Biswas and patients in the OCD clinic at Springfield Hospital, for which the mural was originally designed. Taking inspiration from the early renaissance artist Giotto’s painting of a night sky, Sutapa encouraged participants to create their own version of a constellation, drawing on the soothing, dream-like nature of the stars.

Catherine Goodman, ‘A Holding Space’, 2023

Artists Alvin Kofi, Victoria Cantons, Valerie Asiimwe Amani, Giles Deacon, Richard Mark Rawlins and Katharine Lazenby have created a series of beds, which, far from being an untouchable installation, are designed for visitors to lie down on. From the beds, visitors can gaze up at a ceiling installation by Richard Wentworth.

Also taking part in the exhibition is the National Opera Studio and composer, Alex Groves, who have worked with students from the South West London Recovery College on a soundscape which explores different ways of breathing, humming and generally making sounds which, when played together, create a harmonious soundtrack to the exhibition.

Accompanying the exhibition is an auction of original artworks from an impressive roster of contemporary creatives, hosted by Bonhams auction house. Martin Creed, Rashid Johnson, Charles Gaines, Chantal Joffe, Do Ho Suh and Caroline Walker are just some of the names of those who have donated works, which range from paintings to mixed media to sculpture, glass and metalwork.

Richard Mark Rawlins and Lorna Hamilton Brown, a printmaker and textile artist respectively, have created a pair of cushions. Richard previously worked with the charity on the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Goodmayes Hospital and more recently the new Springfield Hospital in Tooting. These will be sold alongside new specific works by Catherine Goodman and Mark Titchner, at a separate, online auction which opens for bidding on from 1–13 September.

The live auction will take place on 12 September at Bonhams on New Bond Street, W1S, just a couple of minutes walk from the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth.

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