Vital Arts



Amalia Pica Joy in Hospital Paperwork #1-65, commission for Barts

Amalia Pica’s Joy In Hospital Paperwork

Vital Arts is delighted to announce a new, site-specific commission by Amalia Pica. The project, installed throughout the oncology isolation ward at Barts Hospital, consists of a suite of 65 of drawings. All made using office rubber stamps, like those found in postal or immigration services, these quirky, playful works poke fun at bureaucracy and the monotony of administrative tasks.  Pica has restricted her palette to the three ink colours most commonly used in official paperwork–black, red and blue–and with that, achieves a vast array of recognisable images that verge on abstraction including cacti, sunbeams, pylons, earthworms, the river Thames.  A closer look at each reveals a network of stamp markings which read, in various languages, “paid”, “private & confidential”, “received”,“cancelled”, along other official directives. Given the repetition and tangle of stamps, one can imagine an office worker driven to distraction by piles of paperwork. This joyful installation also speaks of a bygone era, before digitalisation, when letters and documents were rubber stamped by hand.

This project was commissioned by Vital Arts and generously funded by  

New photographic installation in Acute Critical Care Unit (ACCU) by Regan/Grey

Photographers Regan / Grey have brought the vibrant essence of east London into the the heart of our Acute Critical Care Unit (ACCU) at The Royal London Hospital.

Darren Harvey-Regan and Josh Bilton, working together as Regan / Grey, set out to capture passages of every day life found within a stone’s throw of the hospital.  For this commission, they took images of local landmarks and urban scenes that are familiar to east Londoners. Views of Victoria Park, Regents Canal, various Shoreditch hangouts, street markets and the bandstand at Arnold Circus all feature in this fifteen-part series.

This project was commissioned by Vital Arts and generously funded by  

Announcing our two 2017 Artists-in-Residence:
Marenka Gabeler and Julia Vogl

Marenka Gabeler is interested in memory, and investigates the ways we remember and how we forget. For her residency with Vital Arts she will extend this research, working with Dementia specialists and patients at Barts Health NHS Trust. Previous residencies have taken the artist to Japan, Syria and Majorca. She earned her MA in painting at the Royal College of Art and has since exhibited her work internationally, including at venues in Amsterdam, Lahore, Athens, New York.  Gabeler is originally from Holland, and now lives in the east end of London.

Julia Vogl will also focus on Dementia during her residency, working on a range of design interventions to create more Dementia-friendly environments across Barts Health hospitals. Known for her socially-engaged public projects, Vogl is inspired by political events, social behaviour, and the community, and she aims to create works that reveal underlying cultural values.  The British/American artist graduated from the Slade School of Art and has recently completed large scale projects in Hong Kong, Washington, DC, Newcastle as well as several in London.  She is a frequent guest speaker–including TEDx–and when not making art, you can find her directing art workshops for the London Brain Project.

New Mortuary at Barts opens with a commission by Julia Vogl

Vogl has also recently completed a permanent commission for the new Mortuary at Barts. For this project, the artist has created an installation of silkscreen prints based on leaves found near and around the Hospital.  An other commission by Vogl for the Bereavement Suite at Whipps Cross is in progress and due for completion in early 2017. 

This project was commissioned by Vital Arts and generously funded by  

London Symphony Orchestra 

The LSO continue to delight and engage our youngest patients, all under 5 years old, at the Royal London Children’s Hospital. Early years music specialist, Vanessa King, and musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra lead interactive singing workshops throughout the children’s areas, delivering an exciting programme of stories, songs and rhymes to our youngest patients and their parents.
“Whilst in hospital this time our son has found great pleasure listening to the musicians… He absolutely loved the music sessions, becoming animated, and interacting in ways that he just hasn’t done for a long time. Being so close to the music, seeing the instruments and being gently and gradually encouraged to take part has been the best form of therapy for him. As his parents too, seeing his reaction and really enjoying the sessions ourselves, has really helped us through some difficult times here.”

Parent of 4 year old patient at the Royal London Hospital

This project is in partnership with the and generously funded by  

TATE Exchange

Last but not least, we are excited to announce that Vital Arts will be hosting a weekend at Tate Modern exploring the positive impact that the arts bring to health and wellbeing. Vital Arts has been invited to partake in TATE Exchange, which is an annual programme that brings together international artists, and over 50 partners who work within and beyond the arts, and the public.

To participate in the weekend of workshops, exchanges, and discussions, visit us at the Tate Modern, Switch House, Level 5 on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March, 2017.  Join us in the investigation of how art, design and the environment effects recovery and wellbeing, and share your own experiences of arts within a hospital setting, more details to follow.