News & Events

The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Art at the Heart was involved in plans to mark the 200 year anniversary of Florence Nightingale and most had to be cancelled. However an opportunity arose in October to do a pop up shop window to mark this anniversary and we very much enjoyed working with the Quality Improvement and Communication teams.

The Butterfly Rainbow by Damien Hirst is a recent acquisition and was donated to Art at the Heart In May 2020, Damien Hirst created Butterfly Rainbow to show support for the NHS in the Coronavirus crisis. The work is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best‐known motifs. A limited edition of the work was produced with all profits donated to NHS Charities Together, raising a total of £1,508,172. This artwork, I See You and a print of Hannah’s ‘We Can Do It!’ painting are featured in the Milsom Street window.

Art and Craft Packs for Patients!

Many patients have been unable to see their loved ones and have nothing to do whilst in hospital, and our usual participatory workshops and music visits to wards aren’t able to take place due to current restrictions. The arts and craft packs have been put together to give patients the opportunity to have a go at doing some creative activities, alleviate boredom and ultimately improve patient experience.

The Arts and Craft packs have been created by Art at the Heart, the arts charity for the RUH, supported and funded by the Patient Experience Team and RUH Charitable Fund.

Read more about the project in the media release below:

I See You By Ali Brown

Signs from the Dept. of Kindness

12 signs – 12th May is Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial; the Dept. of Kindness and Fresh Arts have generously offered this exhibition to Art at the Heart of the RUH; we are aiming to support and encourage staff in practising self-care and being mindful of their wellbeing.


The Dept of Kindness is a project that celebrates kindness, using creativity to make it visible. Hannah Gaisford’s ‘We Can Do It!’ painting is on display alongside this exhibition.

Find out more about the project here:

Art at the Heart are finalists in the Civic category for the Bath Life Awards 2020.

This fantastic recognition is for art, heritage and design work for the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

The Awards will take place on Thursday 27th February at the Assembly Rooms in Bath and we will let you know how we get on!

We are inviting RUH staff and volunteers to share their artistic talent in our Staff and Volunteer Art Exhibition 2020.

The exhibition will be held in the Central Gallery and will be open from 24 April – 9 July 2020 and will be seen by many of the thousands of patients, visitors and staff who pass through the RUH every day.

Staff and Volunteers can download the guidelines and submission form on the RUH Staff Intranet or view

Deadline for all submissions: 20th March 2020

 River is the Venue @The Edge, University of Bath

44AD and Art at the Heart of the RUH have been working on a partnership project: River is the Venue (RIV) with research academics at the University of Bath, funded through their Public Engagement Programme.

The focus of the project is on historical flooding events in Bath and audiences will be exposed to fascinating elements of the water history of the City.

RIV workshops artwork with Artist, Edwina Bridegeman

RIV workshop collage

Ground/Water Sculptures by Ross Bennett and Flood Flags by Alyson Minkley

RIV events: 

Art at the Heart win Creative Bath Award 2018

Art at the Heart of the RUH (AATH) have won a Creative Bath Award for the second year running! This year the RUH arts team have been awarded best Creative Arts Organisation.

AATH provides a stimulating environment which incorporates Bath’s largest and most accessible gallery space, as well as offering visual arts and design to enhance the hospital surroundings, and integrating artworks in to new builds and refurbishments. AATH also programmes throughout the year professional live music to public areas and wards to help create a distraction from worry and alleviate stress.

*Photograph by Sam at Soul Media, Creative Bath Awards 2018

ART & Design for the new RNHRD & Therapies Centre

Three very exciting art and design projects are currently taking place, and will be incorporated in to the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre. These are:


The brief was to take inspiration from the RNHRD (The Min) artefacts and paintings and find ways to interpret into a modern clinical building.

The design interprets aspects of The Min’s heritage collection of artefacts and historic
portrait paintings to create bespoke wallpaper designs for the waiting area and corridor for RNHRD Rheumatology.

Wallpaper Design by Jose Mendoza (still to be finalised)


The city of Bath would be unlikely to exist as an exceptional World Heritage City without the discovery of the thermal waters, which bubbles up from the ground at Bath, having fallen as rain thousands of years ago on the nearby Mendip Hills.

The Thermal Waters Timeline will take inspiration from the rich history and heritage of the Waters to create a geographical story line, through the use of textured panelling, super graphics, artwork, and text that will be installed on the external façade of the building. The timeline is being designed by Bath Spa University graduate, Ross Bennett.

Geographical timeline model made by Ross Bennett (Design still to be finalised)


Christopher Tipping has researched aspects of heritage and the ‘sense of place’ relating to both hospital sites, to create a bespoke contemporary design using traditional treatments to the glazed walls of the hydrotherapy pool. Feedback from patients and staff engagement sessions has influenced his design process.

Detail of hydrotherapy pool window design by Chris Tipping (The artwork is still under development)

Staff & Volunteer Exhibition – People’s Vote Winners Announced!

A fantastic showcase of the RUH Staff’s artistic talents went on display for the RUH Staff and Volunteer Exhibition 2017. Staff members from a range of departments – Maternity, Estates, Pathology, Therapies and ward volunteers to name a few took part by exhibiting mediums such as photography, painting and mixed media.

Wera Hobhouse MP made a special visit to the RUH to present the People’s Vote prize.

Wera Hobhouse MP presenting the People’s Vote, along with RUH Commercial Director Jocelyn Foster to winner Matron Amanda Gell with her artwork ‘Hare’ and runner-up Karen Road, RUH Social Worker with her artwork Lansdown Hill, Bath.

Over 150 votes were cast, and the winner was revealed to be Matron, Amanda Gell with her artwork ‘Hare’. Amanda won a meal out for 2, kindly provided by Ian and Christa Taylor, owners of The Abbey Hotel, Bath. The runner-up was RUH Social Worker, Karen Road with her artwork ‘Lansdown Hill, Bath’. Karen won a £50 framing voucher to use in Meltone Gallery, with thanks to Colin and team. Special thanks to Wera Hobhouse for presenting the prizes, The Abbey Hotel and the RUH Forever Friends Appeal for supporting the People’s Vote.

Hare by Matron, Amanda Gell

Lansdown Hill, Bath by Karen Road

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.”

‘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.

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.