News & Events

Art at the Heart win Creative Bath Award!

Art at the Heart of the RUH are thrilled to have won the Creative Bath 2017 Award for ‘Art’. The awards took place on Thursday 8th June in Queens Square, Bath to celebrate the very best of Bath’s creativity.

The judges were particularly impressed with the Bath War Hospital heritage project, they commented “Great cause, great concept. The WW1 project is an exciting initiative with good feedback and testimonials. So very moving – provides healing through creativity” 

The Art at the Heart team with their Creative Bath Award! L to R: Jessica Shoemack (Marketing & Programme Support Officer), Hetty Dupays (Art & Design Manager), Tony Smith (Exhibitions Manager)

The team said:As a charity, funding is always an issue and this award will hopefully help us gain greater financial support to enable us to continue to enhance the environment for the benefit of patients, staff and visitors at the hospital.

Donations, large or small, make a real difference to our programme. Small donations (e.g. £2/£5/£10) made to our charity in June will be matched by Local Giving:

A huge thank you to everyone that supports Art at the Heart.”


Calling all ruH sTAFF & Volunteers!

Entry is now open for the Staff & Volunteer Exhibition 2017!

The exhibition will be held in the Central Gallery and will be open from 20th October 2017 – 18thJanuary 2018 and will be seen by many of the thousands of patients, visitors and staff who pass through the RUH every day.

If you are an RUH Staff Member or Volunteer and would like to submit work for exhibition, please visit our Contact Us page for the Entry Guidelines and Submission Form.



‘Roads to Recovery’ at the BRLSI in FEbruary HALF TERM!

The Art at the Heart team will be joining forces with The Natural TheA5 RTR Poster front finalatre Company, Corsham commemorates WW1 and Bath Records Office on the 11
th February 2017 to bring a Bath War Hospital experience to Queens Square, Bath. The Natural Theatre Company are working with local youth clubs, schools, cadet forces and the Natural Youth Theatre to bring the War hospital to life across the city. The project has been supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

There will also be the opportunity to see the Bath War Hospital ‘Acts of Kindness’ exhibition at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) where it will be on show for a week 11th – 18th Feb 2017.



You can read all about our projects as well as news and events that have taken place over the course of this year in our Annual Review.


Art at the Heart are finalists for the WW1 Remembered Awards!

ww1-remembered-logoArt at the Heart, the Royal United Hospital’s charitably funded arts organisation were nominated by B&NES council to submit their Bath War Hospital “Acts of Kindness” project to the WW1 Remembered Awards.

The exhibition has been showcased in the RUH Central Gallery revealing how “small acts of kindness” from the community helped to support the operation of the hospital. The project was funded by Heritage Lottery: 1st World War ‘Then and Now’ Fund.

Art at the Heart were selected as finalists in the Arts & Creativity category and the Awards took place in November in London.


We are delighted to say we achieved runner up for our project. The success of the exhibition would not have been possible without key volunteers, individuals and supporting organisations such as Weston Heritage and Research Society and Bath Records Office. You can view the Bath War Hospital film on our evaluation page



Two students from Bath Spa University have been working on a project with Art at the Heart to design a new art map so that RUH patients, visitors and staff can locate exhibitions, artworks and sculptures in courtyards around the site.

art map detail

The idea is to indicate the many locations of exhibits around the hospital, and for it to offer a welcome distraction. Bath Spa Arts Management (MA) student, Mao Takata has completed a 7 month work placement with Art at the Heart, first updating the arts inventory of around 500 artworks within the hospital, and working with the arts team to develop and produce the final map.

“I am glad to have been able to accomplish this RUH Art Map project that I have engaged in diligently over the past few months. It would be great if the art map can produce opportunities for more people to enjoy the artworks at their time in the RUH.” Mao Takata

We wanted the art map to be a work of art in its own right, and Mao introduced (BA) Textiles Student; Ayane Fujioka to the project who screen printed the corridor layout on to fabric to create the outline of the map and stitched where the art exhibitions, sculptures and individual artworks are located.

screen print process 2The Zone colours are coherent with the colour scheme used in the official RUH map: Zone A – purple, Zone B – green, Zone C – yellow and Zone D – blue.

This Textile piece will be on display for public view from September at the Atrium ‘crossroads’ in the west corridor (Zone B) alongside printed copies of the map, anart mapd the printed map will also be available around the Trust.

The arts map provides a real asset to enable patients, visitors and staff to explore and discover all the artworks on display at the RUH.” Tony Smith, Exhibitions Manager

The Arts team would like to thank Mao and Ayane for all the hard work that went into this RUH Art Map project.


Art at the Heart receive a Highly Commended Award!

Art at the Heart have received a highly commended award from the Arts and Health South West Prize 2016 for their Fusion Exhibition, a project that took place at the RUH last summer.

Art at the Heart’s project, exhibition ahsw prizeand collaboration with Bath Spa University ‘Fusion: Where Two Minds Collide’ is a great example promoting a successful on-going partnership that has spanned a decade and has opened doors for around 70 young people to date seeking a career in the arts and health sector, including BA and MA level students, Musicians and Artists.

A big thank you to ahsweveryone involved and those who supported this project here at the RUH.




Bath War Hospital Logo 1


Physical therapy at Bath War Hospital.

Physical therapy at Bath War Hospital.







2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Bath War Hospital – on the site now occupied by the Royal United Hospital – which by the end of the war had over 1,300 beds. Many more soldiers were treated in the Mineral Water Hospital, while other buildings, such as Kingswood School, Newton Park and Bathampton House, were pressed into service as temporary hospitals. New spa facilities were also opened. In this talk, Andrew Swift looked at the role Bath played in the care and treatment of tens of thousands of wounded soldiers during World War One.




The Bath War Hospital Exhibition opened on Monday 13th June when a bugler played The Last Post, there was music from Art at the Heart’s Musician in Residence, Frankie Simpkins and interaction from the Natural Theatre Company.




A fascinating talk by Professor Francis Duck PhD MBE  was held at the RNHRD Chapel on Wednesday 15th June, explaining the successful diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers at the Bath War Hospital were largely the outcome of local support and expertise.


art at the heart of the ruh shortlisted for a bath life award for a second time

We are thrilled to annouce that we have been selected as a Finalist in the Bath Life Awards: Art Award, sponsored by Fidelius.

Since winning the Bath Life Arts Award in 2014 we haven’t looked back, despite the vunerable climate we find ourselves in.


  • We have expanded our partnership working by 40%. Working closely with organisations such as 5x5x5=creativity, Bath Spa University, Bath Folk Club and Live Music Now, Cultural Forum for the Bath Area and Bath Child Friendly City initiative.
  • Increased the hours of our Marketing and Exhibitions Assistant, Musician in Residence and Artist in Residence by 40%, which has resulted in an increase of workshops, exhibitions and performances this year, reaching over 2,400 patients directly on the wards and 260,000 patients, visitors and staff in public areas of the hospital.
  • Seen an increase in exhibition income including sales by 70% with a total of 500 artworks on show around the RUH Trust at any one time.

Winning the Bath Life Awards Award in 2014 was momentous to us for many reasons;

Not least the confidence boost it gave us as a team in what was to be the start of a challenging year. As a charity within such a large institution such as the RUH, our unobtrusive work, by nature, often blends into the background. The Bath Life Award 2014 was just the recognition we needed, made even more special by the fact it was from the people of Bath, for the people of Bath.

May we take this opportunity to thank anyone who has contributed or supported our work over the last year, we wouldn’t be here without you.



The Theatre Royal Bath Creative Fund has awarded AATH funding for Artist in Residence Edwina Bridgeman to deliver a unique intergenerational project through weekly creative workshops on both the Children and Adolescent’s Ward and Combe Ward, a Dementia friendly ward for elderly patients.

Patients will have the opportunity to explore the history of the War Hospital and the many stories recounting community support and even incidents where animals (including a chicken!) provided therapeutic comfort for soldiers. During the workshop Edwina will create a 3D tapestry with patients and it will be displayed alongside the main WW1 Hospital exhibition and remain at the RUH as a permanent legacy.