Gallery spotlights art that helps heal

They are pick-me-up pictures that are a real tonic for hospital patients.For artwork has been proven to speed the recovery of ill people by boosting their mood.

They are pick-me-up pictures that are a real tonic for hospital patients.

For artwork has been proven to speed the recovery of ill people by boosting their mood.

But those who want to sample the healing qualities of hospital art - without the inconvenience of spending time on a ward - can see it at a north Norfolk gallery.

The charity Paintings in Hospitals is showcasing its work at the Bircham Gallery at Holt from today in an exhibition marking its 45th anniversary.


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Paintings in Hospitals' senior curator Joanna Desmond said the mood lift provided by the artwork helped patients to recover.

“Clinical research proves if people are in a more pleasant environment, they get better quicker,” she said.

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Paintings in Hospitals has more than 4000 pieces by modern British and contemporary artists which it loans to hospitals and other healthcare facilities for a small annual fee to cover insurance.

“We try to keep the collection as varied as possible. You cannot predict what is going to make someone feel better,” added Miss Desmond.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital spokesman Andrew Stronach agreed that a positive state of mind helped people's ability to get better.

“In children's wards artwork is especially important as it makes the environment more homely and stops their stay being so traumatic,” he said.

Bircham Gallery owner Chris Harrison said he was delighted to be able to help. “When I have seen hospitals decorated with good artwork, I have been very pleased. It is much better than looking at long empty walls,” he said.

The contemporary exhibition pictures are the work of artists belonging to the Royal Academy and range from a landscape picture to abstract pieces.

The exhibition at Bircham Gallery is open from 9am until 5pm, from Monday to Saturday, until November 9, with profits going to the charity.

t Websites: www.birchamgallery.co.uk and www.paintingsinhospitals.org.uk

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