Internship Experience at Art in Healthcare

DATE POSTED: 9th of February 2017

Alice cleaning and restoring work from the Art in Healthcare collection

The aim of my role as an intern is to check and update information on artists from our collection, involving research and communication with the artists to obtain up to date information on their work or current practice, or both, which is then presented on our website. This information also contributes to the labels we produce to sit alongside the work of art when it is installed. As a student studying for my MSc in History of art, theory and display, much of my writing has been focused towards an academic audience, so it has been a great opportunity and challenge to learn how to tailor this to appeal to a different audience and for a completely different purpose.

I have been an intern at Art in Healthcare since October 2016. The charity houses a collection of over 1,600 works of art, which are made available for loan to healthcare providers across Scotland. The collection includes different media – drawings, oil paintings, watercolours, printmaking and mixed media – in various sizes. All of these artworks feature in an online gallery, alongside information about the work, as well as the artist’s life, career and achievements. The aim of Art in Healthcare is to share this collection with medical environments across Scotland to improve the healthcare experience of patients, staff and visitors; the online collection is usually the first point of call for anyone interested in seeing or acquiring artwork from the collection.

It was great to represent Art in Healthcare as a volunteer at Edinburgh Art Fair, which ran over the weekend of the 18th-20th November at Edinburgh Corn Exchange. As a charity we held a series of free artist talks and demonstrations: Sara Beevers introduced the technique of monoprinting using water based inks and body weight to print unique designs, Olivia Irvine demonstrated egg tempera painting, Jenny Smith led participants through a series of fun drawing exercises using objects from the natural world, while Ann Oram demonstrated the techniques behind her beautiful creations of flowers and field edges, to name a few! It was also really exciting to work alongside Leo du Feu who led the children’s workshops, which attracted a lot of keen young artists who made fantastic, colourful collages inspired by nature. The whole weekend was a huge success and raised a lot of awareness for Art in Healthcare.

With the new year, while still busy researching and producing information for our collection, much of my time has also been spent in the store room. Here, I have been restoring and cleaning works which need a little bit of ‘TLC’ and those which are about to leave us to be installed into a healthcare facility, or have just been returned. I look forward to my next few months at Art in Healthcare.