A&E artwork highlights hometown memories of hospital staff
25 May 2021
The collaborative project, painted by the creative group Artmongers, is based on one-on-one discussions with staff working in the department, bringing a peaceful, personalised atmosphere to the area.
Supported by a grant from Imperial Health Charity, the vibrant, topographical mural covers an entire corridor, featuring coastlines, mountains and forests, with scattered bubbles depicting memories staff have of their home towns.
“One important element of the project is that it’s an equaliser: cleaners and domestic employees and the nurses and the doctors are all in the same footing. They're all addressed as humans."
Patricio Forrester, Director at Artmongers
Patricio Forrester, Director at Artmongers, said: “The corridor is a very functional place and with this project we wanted to turn it into an emotional one; a place where people are going to feel a little bit of longing for where they come from.
“I would sit someone down and explain that this was about finding a precious memory associated with where they grew up. The feeling I wanted to look for is something which is very personal.”
The result is a piece that showcases the diversity of the hospital’s Emergency Department, with memories including Chandor, Cape Town, and even the local Hammersmith Bridge.
Patricio says that the reaction from staff has been incredibly positive, as well as being a great opportunity for staff to find out more about the people they work alongside:
“I learned that there were two people who had grown up in villages or countries during a period of war. Initially they didn't want to participate but after speaking to them, we managed to find a positive image that they could separate from more difficult memories.
“One important element of the project is that it’s an equaliser: cleaners and domestic employees and the nurses and the doctors are all in the same footing. They're all addressed as humans.”
Artmongers was formed by Patricio in 2013. It has previously worked in schools, refugee camps and residential areas, creating artworks that improve public spaces and give local people a sense of pride and ownership. You can read more about the group’s work on its website.