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

Our 2024 Partnership with Hospital Rooms

10 July 2024

Supporting NHS mental health services in the UK with the exhibition and fundraising auction

To mark our third-year of collaboration with arts and mental health charity Hospital Rooms, we are pleased to announce ‘Digital Art School,’ an exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London from Thursday 22 August – Tuesday 10 September 2024, and two fundraising auctions with Bonhams in London on Wednesday 11 September and Thursday 12 September 2024. Through our ongoing three-year partnership, we aim to raise £1 million to transform the experiences of patients in NHS mental health services across the UK. Over the last two years, Hospital Rooms and Hauser & Wirth have raised over £725,000 with the exhibitions and auctions, ‘Like there is hope and I can dream of another world’ (2022) and ‘Holding Space’ (2023).

This year marks the launch of Hospital Rooms’ latest and most wide-reaching initiative, the Digital Art School. The program involves bringing artist-led digital workshops and free art materials to every NHS inpatient mental health site in England, UK. All 58 Mental Health Trusts in England have participated in the scheme so far.

This summer, Digital Art School will manifest as an exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London from Thursday 22 August – Tuesday 10 September 2024. The exhibition will recreate the Digital Art School format in the gallery space, delivering live in-house creative sessions hosted by artists such as Abbas Zahedi, Shepherd Manyika and Eileen Cooper RA, as well as beautifully filmed art activities projected in cinematic style onto the walls of the gallery, hosted by artists and designers including Giles Deacon, Sutapa Biswas and Sarah Dwyer.

Visitors will be invited to spend time making artwork of their own in the space, using free art materials provided in the gallery. The exhibition offers a chance for visitors to experience the various gatherings that are taking place in mental health hospitals across England and to contribute to the charity’s investigations and experimentations into new models and methods of humanizing mental health spaces. Artworks created by visitors during the sessions will be installed on the walls throughout the exhibition.

The floor of the gallery will be covered with an adaptation of Nengi Omuku’s artwork created for Hellesdon Hospital in Norfolk, UK, depicting a clear blue sky that people will be able to walk, sit and create on. Hot air balloons featured in the artwork will be transformed into bean bags for the public to sit on and draw, and will later be installed in Hellesdon Hospital.

Digital Art School is a program that is very close to our hearts, and we are so excited to bring it to life as an immersive studio experience. The exhibition and accompanying events program at Hauser & Wirth will interrogate modes of arts education and invite visitors to participate in accessible, inventive and provocative sessions led by our extraordinary artist tutors. Digital Art School is designed to cultivate connectivity, collaboration and dreaming within mental health spaces and we hope wider audiences will be able to join in this summer.’—Niamh White, Hospital Rooms Co-Founder

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

The exhibition will culminate in a live fundraising auction at Hauser & Wirth London, hosted in partnership with Bonhams, on Wednesday 11 September 2024, and an online-only auction at on Thursday 12 September 2024. Both auctions will showcase works donated by artists across the UK, including Do Ho Suh, Rana Begum, Sutapa Biswas, Peter Liversidge and many more. These works will be shown in the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Over the past two years, Hospital Rooms and Hauser & Wirth have jointly raised over £725,000, helping the charity to deliver a series of ambitious new projects in NHS mental health hospitals across the UK. The partnership has helped to fund transformational creative projects to bring contemporary art and architecture to Springfield Hospital in Tooting, Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich and Sandwell’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service, as well as launching the Digital Art School in 750 mental health sites across the UK.

All proceeds from the auctions will sustain the year ahead for Hospital Rooms, with plans to deliver new projects to transform mental health care units in cities from London to Bristol, Norwich, Wakefield and beyond. 

As long-time supporters of Hospital Rooms, we are inspired by the incredible difference that Niamh, Tim and their team make, cultivating joyful spaces for healing that offer patients hope and dignity within mental health services across the country. This third year of collaboration shines a light on the importance of arts education with the Digital Art School and we are pleased to support them bringing this to a wider audience. We are also thrilled to welcome new Gallery Circle members, who have also committed to support Hospital Rooms.’—Neil Wenman, Global Creative Director & Partner

Installation view, ‘Hospital Rooms. Like there is hope and I can dream of another world,’ Hauser & Wirth London, 2022 © Hospital Rooms. Courtesy the artists and Hospital Rooms. Photo: Tim Bowditch

About Hospital Rooms
Hospital Rooms work to benefit people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) diagnoses, commissioning leading artists such as Hurvin Anderson, Julian Opie, Sonia Boyce, Anish Kapoor and Chantal Joffe to transform in-patient units and secure wards, where opportunities to experience and participate in art are significantly reduced. The charity also work in mother and baby, out-patient and young people’s units, recognizing both the broad range of people whose lives are touched by mental illness, and the transformative potential of creative programs and vibrant care environments—for patients, their loved ones and staff.

The organization was founded when a friend of artist Tim 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.

Niamh White, Neil Wenman and Tim Shaw at the Hospital Rooms exhibition, ‘Like there is hope and I can dream of another world,’ Hauser & Wirth London, 2022 © Hospital Rooms. Photo: Jennifer Moyes Photography