Oxford Health Arts Partnership supporting staff to reflect on their pandemic experiences.

The Oxford Health Arts Partnership (supported by Oxford Health Charity funding) has been working with artists Anne-Marie Cadman and Miranda Bence-Jones to run six collaborative and participatory art workshops to create new artwork about Oxford Health staff and their experiences of the Covid pandemic.

Last autumn staff were invited to join online evening workshops with artists Anne-Marie and Miranda. The workshops were organised by Tom Cox from Artscape and funded by Oxford Health Charity.  The workshops were open to anyone, whatever their artistic ability and everyone was made to feel welcome.

During the workshops the participants took part in a series of wellbeing enhancing creative activities that included guided drawings, using pencil and charcoal, experimenting with ink, and creating cut up collages. The group was set tasks to do during the sessions and between sessions which they then shared and discussed at the next session.

The workshops were a way for staff to explore their collective experience of the Covid pandemic. They were able to express in words and pictures what they felt in a safe environment. The artists took all the material created during the workshops and used it to create a series of new artwork for the trust. They included something by everyone that took part in the workshops.

The workshops were well received by everyone that took part; one staff member said “I came to the workshops a little unsure. I think this was mainly because of the time commitment. However, by the time of the last meeting I found myself really looking forward to it and felt so disappointed they were ending!”.

The outcome of the workshops is these stunning nurse artworks that will be displayed on walls and windows around the trust.  The first ones have already started to go up in the main corridor of the Warneford Hospital, Oxford and the reception windows of Saffron House, Wycombe.