Artist in residence programme

The artist in residence programme invites established artists to spend a length of time with particular patient groups. The residency gives artists the chance to develop their work whilst offering patients the opportunity to engage in artistic projects. Previous artists have included Anne Harild and Zarina Bhimji. 

Sunil Gupta, ‘Heaven’ from the tape-slide project London Gay Switchboard, 1980.jpg

Sunil Gupta
in collaboration with Studio Voltaire

April 2021- March 2022

Sunil Gupta will embark on a twelve–month residency set within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s adult HIV Clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital, London.  Working closely with hospital staff and patients, Gupta will ask questions about one of the major institutions that plays a role in defining gender and sexuality and collaborate with patients to explore their healthcare experiences as part of their care. The residency will lead to a series of works and a public programme of workshops and events. This residency is a collaborative project between Studio Voltaire and Imperial Health Charity and has received additional funding from Arts Council England. 

Sunil Gupta (b. 1953, New Delhi India) is a photographer, writer and curator. He has exhibited internationally and published several books, including Christopher Street, 1976 (Stanley/Barker 2018) and Queer (Vadehra Art Gallery/Prestel 2011). His work is in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (NY, USA) Tate Britain (UK), Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan), Arts Council of Great Britain (UK) and Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA). A forthcoming retrospective ‘From Here to Eternity’ opens at The Photographers’ Gallery in Autumn 2020. He is represented by Hales Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery.

For over 25 years, Studio Voltaire’s pioneering public programmes of exhibitions, participation projects, live events and off–site commissions has gained an international reputation. Studio Voltaire has an outstanding track record of supporting artists at a pivotal stage in their careers, championing emerging and under represented artists whilst placing a great emphasis on risk–taking and experimentation. Many commissions are an artist’s first solo exhibition in London.


Image credit
Sunil Gupta, From the tape–slide project London Gay Switchboard, 1980.
35mm slides transferred to digital media for ‘Keywords’, INIVA/Tate Liverpool, 2013-14.
Image courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery. © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020.



Jasleen Kaur and Katie Schwab
in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries 

Over the course of 2019/20, artists Jasleen Kaur and Katie Schwab will work closely with
staff and patients at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, thinking through questions around
frailty and ageing, care and healthcare, and the NHS today. The residency will explore
intersections between arts and health, working alongside a Trust wide ‘Frailty Project’. The
Frailty project is a programme seeking to improve older patients’ pathways through the
hospital system whilst working with staff to increase their confidence and skills in caring for
‘frail’ patients.

Jasleen Kaur (b.1986, Glasgow) is an artist currently living and working in London. Her work
is an ongoing exploration into the malleability of culture and the layering of social histories
within the material and immaterial things that surround us. Her practice examines the
hierarchy of histories and labour using a range of mediums and methods including
sculpture, video, conversation and cooking.

Katie Schwab’s practice interweaves personal, social, and craft-based histories, often
drawing from traditions of living, making and working collectively. Spanning exhibition-
making, design commissions, printed resources and workshops, she works across arts,
learning and community contexts to explore the ways in which manual and social forms of
production can develop within shared spaces.


Navine G. Khan-Dossos

Over six months in 2018, artist Navine G. Khan-Dossos held workshops with young patients in the Paediatric department at St Mary’s Hospital, as well as at The Showroom. Together, they made a series of collages looking at the relationship between colours, and thought about what colours they would like to see on the hospital’s walls, ceilings, doors and furniture.

POLYCHROMY PLAYS is a functional colour palette generated from these discussions, collages and paintings, which can be potentially used in the future. It was made by giving the patients agency in their environment, and allowing them to imagine ways to improve the spaces in which they found themselves for short, long, or intermittent stays. They, better than anyone else, know what it is like to spend time in these spaces and should be part of the dialogue about how to improve the way they feel during their treatment. Colour has an important role to play in this discussion.

The POLYCHROMY PLAYS palette comprises both the colours and names given to each shade. These include a wide range of inspirations, from inside and outside the hospital, feelings, foods, politics and bodily functions. They are sometimes light and playful and sometimes transgressive and troubling, showing that it is important to involve the light and the dark sides of hospital experience as a more holistic way to consider the reality of the environment. The colours use the NCS reference system so that future designers, architects, and artists working in the hospital can work with the exact shades picked by the patients.

The final artwork was printed as a limited edition poster and distributed across the St Mary's site. It is available to download here.

This residency was a collaboration between Imperial Health Charity’s artist in residence programme and The Showroom’s Communal Knowledge programme, which invites artists and other cultural producers to work with community groups, organisations and individuals from the neighbourhood.

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