Art on Tour offers a daily dose of art for staff at COVID vaccination centre

By Jamie Hill - 20 February 2021

Arts and CultureCommunity

Staff and volunteers at the COVID vaccination centre at STEAM will be given their own little shot in the arm in the shape of a new art display designed to give them a boost while they are on their much-needed breaks.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, with sponsorship from Pebley Beach, has organised a display entitled ‘Picture of Health’ at the Swindon Borough Council-owned museum.

It will show artworks from Swindon’s collection of modern British art within the break-out space used by staff and volunteers working at the vaccination centre and will include facsimiles of artworks around the themes of health and wellbeing, such as exercise, fresh air and a healthy diet.

The display is the latest art showcase to be organised by the Art on Tour team from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, who are hopeful it will help to provide a relaxing breakout area for the busy healthcare workers and volunteers on site.

Launched in January last year, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s 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.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for STEAM, said: “We recognise that healthcare workers and volunteers at the STEAM vaccination centre are working extremely hard to vaccinate the public against COVID-19.

“They’re doing such important work to keep people in Swindon safe, and ultimately help the country return to normal. We hope that providing a positive and enriching space for them to enjoy during their breaks, can contribute to their wellbeing, while they look after the wellbeing of the people of Swindon.”

Dominic Threlfell, Managing Director of Pebley Beach, said: “Pebley have always tried to support the community in varying aspects whether it be sports, arts or schools, and we are proud to add this as one of our support packages.

“Three fantastic Swindon projects coming together, namely the STEAM Museum, COVID vaccination centre and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour, all things in their own right are very uplifting and I’m thrilled that Pebley is associated with it.”

Meanwhile, a digital version of ‘A Picture of Health’ will be available from Monday (22 Feb). It includes work by celebrated British artists such as Vanessa Bell, Ivon Hitchens and Howard Hodgkin.

‘A Picture of Health’ will be added to other online exhibitions on Art UK, which are free to view whilst the venue is closed under government guidelines.

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