Art on Tour offers another dose of art for staff and volunteers at COVID vaccination centre

By Jamie Hill - 3 May 2021

Arts and Culture

An art display, which aims to give staff and volunteers a boost at STEAM’s COVID vaccination centre, has been expanded after receiving rave reviews.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, with sponsorship from Pebley Beach, organised the display entitled A Picture of Health back in February with artworks from Swindon’s art collection exploring themes related to health and wellbeing.

Since then, the display has been enjoyed by staff and volunteers at the COVID vaccination centre up to 1,700 times. Following positive feedback, Art on Tour staff decided to double the display to include facsimiles of artworks around the themes of creativity, nature and local exploration.

The newly-expanded display includes paintings by nationally important artists such as Mary Fedden, Howard Hodgkin and Christopher Nevinson, as well as artists of local interest like Kate Tryon and George Reason, who painted captivating scenes of Swindon in the 1900s.

Katie Ackrill, Engagement Officer at Art on Tour, said: “We are so pleased with the response we’ve had to A Picture of Health. Knowing that people are enjoying the artworks on show has inspired us to develop the display into something even more exciting and immersive.

“The latest additions continue to explore the themes of health and wellbeing through Swindon’s art collection, and remind us that activities like listening to music, being creative and exploring local landscapes can do wonders for our wellbeing. The fact that art can communicate these things so clearly, and with such universal visual languages, is a powerful thing!”

Richard Rees, Strategy and Operations Manager at the Brunel Health Group, said: “The staff and volunteers at STEAM have really appreciated the Picture of Health display in their break area provided by STEAM and Art on Tour. They find it a really enriching, tranquil and relaxing environment to spend their breaks, especially working at such a busy centre that can vaccinate thousands of people a day.”

The display has been organised by the Art on Tour team from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Launched in January 2020, the Art on Tour programme aims to share Swindon’s art collection with more people and places throughout the town.

Since the pandemic began, the Art on Tour team have found alternative ways to share the collection. These have included outdoor galleries in parks and schools, a virtual ‘Meet the Artist’ series, and an art history podcast called Art Snaps.

An online version of the exhibition, which reflects the extended display, is also available to view for free whilst the STEAM Museum is closed to the public following government guidelines on indoor attractions.

The online gallery is available through Art UK - https://artuk.org/discover/curations/a-picture-of-health

Follow Art on Tour on Facebook (@ArtonTour2020), Twitter (@AoTSwindon), and Instagram (@swindongalleryartontour).

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