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Past Projects

Working with local schools

In 2022 local artist Katie Allen ran workshops with children at 2 local schools, Dunstable Icknield School and Bedford Road Primary School.  This project was jointly funded by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s ‘Let’s Create Jubilee Fund’, NHS Charities Together and The Culture Challenge at Bedford Creative Arts.

The workshops were inspired by quotes from hospital staff when asked “What one thing would you suggest your friend/colleague try to improve their chances of having a better day”

From the output of the workshops with the children, Katie then produced a total of 18 different A1 size posters which have gone on display across both hospital sites.

posters created by local school children

Paintings in Hospitals

We have collaborated with Paintings in Hospitals to bring original works of art to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Paintings in Hospitals is a UK charity which is committed to bringing world-class art to everybody by providing artwork loans and art activities to health and social care settings.

We have loaned 11 artworks from them to brighten the walls of the hospital.  These works were chosen by staff, patients and visitors from a shortlist of over 30.

The Art of Nature

We have collaborated with the University of Bedfordshire to commission students in the BA (Hons) Photography course to produce an exhibition in the Imaging Departments of Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Bedford Hospital.
Following an initial questionnaire to all staff in our Imaging Departments which asked about their perceptions of wellbeing (both generally and at work), the students have developed a series of photographic images that explore the theme of Nature.

Each student has produced a personal response to the theme, and the exhibition overall thus offers a multi-layered exploration of our natural environment. The images invite us to join a contemplative journey in which the beauty of Nature, its healing power and its wonders are brought to our attention.

It has been well established that looking at Nature can enhance our sense of wellbeing. In this exhibition, the students have brought images of nature into the hospitals.  It is hoped that through their aesthetic and conceptual qualities, these images will have a positive impact on the daily lives of our hospitals’ staff, patients and visitors.

Our People – Capturing moments

This installation shines a light on the staff of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the amazing work they do.

Take heART have collaborated with Karen Reep to showcase her wonderful artwork. Voted for by staff, this collection of pictures depicts a range of ‘moments in time’, both during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the months that followed.

Karen’s wonderful use of line work and colour captures the people, their connection with each other and our imagination. We are so grateful for Karen’s generous donation of her artwork and time.

Some words from Karen:

Hi, I’m Karen

I always wanted to be an Artist in my teens but my parents were determined that I should have a proper job!  I have loved being a Paediatric nurse for nearly 40years.  But in September 2022, I recently retired from the L&D as a paediatric sister.

During my nursing career I continued my secret passion for art, and over the years I have drawn hundreds of sketches of my friends and colleagues going about their daily working life, capturing their special moments for presents and special occasions.

However, my most memorable and fearful time was during the COVID-19 pandemic when I needed to reflect the amazing, challenging and emotional work of all my colleagues.  I wanted to ensure there was a visual record capturing those moments forever so we never forget.  So, there began my COVID-19 reflections, to honour all the staff who gave their all to care for others.

I am now a full time artist painting people’s pets! And my sketching continues………

Thank you Bedfordshire Hospitals and Take heART for embracing and sharing my passion and to all who agreed to have their picture drawn by me.

Karen, sheena with artwork karen and staff member with artwork drawn during COVID-19 pandemic