Contemporary Art Workshops for Children at the London Royal Hospital 

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We are helping children in the UK’s largest children’s hospital to engage with contemporary art and reflect on their own experiences through the work of Charles Avery, together with Art Night Festival and Vital Arts charity.

For the second year in a row we are supporting Art Night festival education programme that this year takes place in The Royal London Hospital that has one of London's busiest paediatric Accident and Emergency departments. The hospital has an internal school, where professional artist educator Sam Ayre delivers a programme of creative workshops - devised together with Vital Arts charity - around the school’s curriculum.

The hospital is located in the Tower Hamlets area where 53% of children come from families living on unemployment benefits, the highest rate in London. Many children who participate in the project hadn’t engaged with contemporary art before. To combat this, the workshops aim to encourage their engagement with art. The workshops specifically prompt reflection on the connections between the works of art by Scottish artist Charles Avery in the book ‘The Islanders’ and their own lived experiences, therefore, stimulating children’s critical thinking.

Two sessions were delivered in December 2017 and were attended by 17 children ranging from 4 - 13-years-old. The feedback from the sessions has been very positive: both artist-educator and teachers noted that the kids were enthusiastic about Charles Avery’s art book and actively participated in all activities.

"The environment on the workshop was positive and buzzing and that really helped to engage students in the tasks. Students who earlier in the week were quiet and unengaged were actively taking part and engaged in all task. This was great to see" - Teacher, The RLH school                 

"I liked using the inks" - workshop participant

"I think the writer is very imaginative, he uses his imagination in a very good way" - workshop participant                    

"I think working together helps us to learn not to fight each other" - workshop participant                            

ArtSocial Foundation is happy to fully fund eight more sessions that are taking place in early 2018.

Partners of the project:

Art Night is a free annual contemporary arts festival that transforms London's public spaces, secret venues and iconic landmarks for one summer night in July. In 2017 Art Night took place in East London on the 7th July. Art Night’s outreach programme each year invites children from disadvantaged areas of London to experience contemporary art through specially curated programme of activities.

VitalArts is an arts organisation for Barts Health NHS Trust. It is the largest Trust in the UK, and is charitably funded to deliver arts projects for the wellbeing of patients, staff and the wider hospital community. VitalArts believes that, in a sometimes stressful environment, the arts can benefit children by aiding their physical, mental and emotional well-being.