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Co-commission Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Culture – Autumn – Kerry Lemon

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Culture unveiled a new permanent art installation near the Emergency Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Thursday 8 December 2022.

The two organisations, funded by Rothschild Foundation and Buckinghamshire Council, co-commissioned artist Kerry Lemon to use the creative arts to support wellbeing by working with people in a healthcare setting. The project was also designed to show pride in Buckinghamshire and the BHT community, which led Kerry to research tree varieties native to the county.

The artwork for the project was created through three workshops led by Kerry and her mentee, BNU fine art student Ella Woodcock. Patients from the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC), Care of the Elderly and the Children’s wards, as well as staff from across the Trust were invited to create colourful works of art inspired by, and using materials from, trees in the local area and particularly those in Horatio’s Garden at the NSIC. Their creations were then curated by Kerry for the final art installation.

At the unveiling celebration Dr Alison Graham, Consultant Physician at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are pleased to unveil this beautiful display near our busy Emergency Department today. Not only will it offer a new space for reflection and finding inspiration, I hope it also reminds people of the amazing therapeutic benefits creative activities can have. Making the art for this installation gave our patients and staff a chance to express emotions, try something new, have fun in a sociable setting and maybe even discover a hidden talent. So, thank you to the very talented Kerry Lemon for guiding them through this creative journey and to the Council and Rothschild Foundation for making it possible.”

Bill Morris, Co-Chair of Buckinghamshire Culture said “Kerry Lemon, patients and staff here have created a beautiful piece, which will be uplifting, inspiring and give staff and patients a sense of pride, particularly following the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing pressures. We hope that it will also inspire other organisations to work with artists and cultural partners in the county to help our residents live healthier and happier lives. It has been a pleasure to work with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to commission this work and we are very grateful to Buckinghamshire Council and Rothschild Foundation for funding this project.”

Artist Kerry Lemon said: “I was so honoured to be commissioned for this piece. Working with the patients, gardeners, volunteers, visitors, families and staff at the hospital to engage with the trees and plants in Horatio’s Garden, and lead them in a simple art activity, was very rewarding. To now see the creations from those workshops turned into a permanent legacy is really special.”