Integrating mindfulness with art

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National charity Paintings in Hospitals has partnered with Imperial Health Charity, the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust and emerging curator Briana Oliver to develop ‘Linear Meditations’, a new mindful hospital exhibition featuring the works of influential British abstract artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.

At Charing Cross Hospital, London, from the 14 November 2018, ‘Linear Meditations’ dives into the representations of water made by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in her drawings, paintings and etchings between 1975-2002. Capturing water in a variety of forms, from glaciers to seascapes, the exhibition explores the power of water to both calm and captivate.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of mindfulness activities for patients, staff and visitors of the hospital. These will include mindful drawing, mindful listening and yoga. Mindfulness involves paying special attention to what is happening in the present moment: in our thoughts, our bodies and our surroundings. Studies show that practising mindfulness can help us to manage depression, anxiety and stress.

Curator Briana Oliver says:

‘We’ve integrated mindfulness into all elements of the exhibition, including our artwork labels. The labels prompt mindful reflection and provide a tool that patients and carers can use when experiencing difficult emotions. I hope this exhibition will create empowering and uplifting care spaces that inspire health and happiness for all.’

Linear Meditations will tour three healthcare spaces: Charing Cross Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital for the rest of the year and  throughout 2019. The exhibition will then be available for other hospitals across the country to borrow from the end of 2019.

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