Opening reception, ‘Hospital Rooms. Holding Space,’ Hauser & Wirth London, 2023 © Hospital Rooms. Courtesy the artists and Hospital Rooms. Photo: Jennifer Moyes Photography

Our 2023 Partnership with Hospital Rooms

29 March 2023

Supporting young people’s mental health services in the UK with an exhibition and auction

Following a successful first year of collaboration in 2022, raising £325,000 with the ‘Like There Is Hope’ exhibition and auction, the gallery has raised over £430,000 in the second year of collaboration with the ‘Holding Space’ exhibition and auction, in partnership with Hospital Rooms and Bonhams, to support three ambitious new projects in NHS mental health hospitals across the UK.

Resuming our three year collaboration with Hospital Rooms, the 2023 program’s exhibition, ‘Holding Space,’ at Hauser & Wirth London, featured artists Valerie Asiimwe Amani, Sutapa Biswas, Victoria Cantons, Rachael Champion, Giles Deacon, Alvin Kofi, Katharine Lazenby, Richard Mark Rawlins, Jonathan Trayte, Richard Wentworth and Abbas Zahedi, as well as Hospital Rooms Lived Experience Team, National Opera Studio with South West London Recovery College Students was on view from Thursday 17 August through to Tuesday 12 September 2023. The exhibition transformed the gallery into a sensorial holding space, filling the gallery with beds and cushions for people to sit, rest and play on. The space featured a recreation of artist Sutapa Biswas’ immersive artwork for Springfield University Hospital and a new composition created by students from the South West London Recovery College and the National Opera Studio.

This ambitious project empowered young people to collaborate with extraordinary artists and contribute to the physical transformation of their environments. Referrals for children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) have drastically increased since 2019, leaving young people and families in urgent need of therapeutic support. Raising these funds will ensure that young people receive support, treatment and therapy in inspirational spaces that offer them hope and dignity.

Installation view, ‘Hospital Rooms. Holding Space,’ Hauser & Wirth London, 2023 © Hospital Rooms. Courtesy the artists and Hospital Rooms. Photo: Lucy Dawkins

‘Holding Space’ culminated in the Hold Me Auction at Bonhams on Tuesday 12 September 2023, featuring works by artists Hurvin Anderson, Martin Creed, Charles Gaines, Catherine Goodman, Chantal Joffe, Allison Katz and Do Ho Suh. This funding will support Hospital Rooms projects in mental health hospitals, in particular a Children and Adolescent Service in Sandwell at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The auction will be followed by an open-air exhibition at Granary Square, King’s Cross, London for World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October 2023. The exhibition will showcase new co-produced artworks and environments for mental health hospitals by Hurvin Anderson, Yinka Ilori, Alvin Kofi and many others.

‘As long-time supporters of Hospital Rooms, we have witnessed first-hand the extraordinary impact of their work in changing lives across NHS mental health inpatient units across the country.’—Neil Wenman, Global Creative Director & Partner

‘Hospital Rooms. Holding Space’ charity auction, Bonhams London, 2023 © Hospital Rooms. Courtesy the Bonhams and Hospital Rooms. Photo: Jennifer Moyes Photography

Other 2023 initiatives for Hospital Rooms include the new Rivers Acute Units at Hellesdon Hospital in Norfolk, UK, a landmark project for the arts and mental health charity. Project Curators from Hospital Rooms will be working from the design stage with architects to embed creativity and culture across six adult wards, entrances, outdoor and communal areas with the hospital opening in 2024 with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospital Rooms will also be working with Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust across two mental health hospitals in Bodmin and Redruth. These services comprise of Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Acute, Rehabilitation and Low secure units for older people. This project will transform these mental health settings and build long term local creative connection with the hospitals.

About Hospital Rooms
The charity Hospital Rooms was founded when a friend of artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White was sectioned and admitted to a NHS mental health hospital. On visiting her, they were shocked to find the hospital environment was cold and clinical at a time when she was so vulnerable. Having both worked in the arts for 10 years, Shaw and White felt they had the skills and community to be able to transform these spaces with unique and site specific artworks. Hospital Rooms envisions a new world where abundant and meaningful creative opportunities are readily accessible to people with severe and enduring mental health diagnoses, and where mental health hospital environments are inventive cultural spaces offering solace, comfort and dignity. Since 2016, Hospital Rooms has undertaken a number of acclaimed projects, completed in some of the most challenging mental health settings. A roster of artists is carefully selected for each Hospital Rooms’ project according to the needs of each community.

Sutapa Biswas, Womens Lounge, Garnet Ward, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, 2023 © Hospital Rooms. Courtesy the artist and Hospital Rooms. Photo: Jennifer Moyes