Unique work celebrating NHS care to be unveiled at Royal Brompton Hospital

PRESS RELEASE 19th October 2018

A new and original piece of artwork will be unveiled at a public launch at Royal Brompton Hospital on 20h November between 12pm and 4pm.

The piece – by self-titled ‘craftivist’ Carrie Reichardt – will include items from her recent exhibition at the hospital on the theme of gratitude, alongside new material.

Reichardt, an artist of international renown, works with ceramics and mosaics to create large-scale public murals. On this occasion, she has turned her attention to the healthcare provided by Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals to create a unique and collaborative piece of work.

The permanent installation for the Sydney Street courtyard area, entitled ‘NHS70: Thanks for Everything’, is a legacy of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the health service held earlier this year. The series of evocative artworks reflect on public gratitude for the NHS and its staff.

Reichardt collated imagery gathered by volunteers, from Royal Brompton’s archives, creating her own interpretation of the material in the form of mosaic tiles where vintage photographs are juxtaposed alongside newspaper cuttings documenting the hospital’s history.

These tiles will form part of the permanent artwork for the hospital, along with unique ceramic hearts, handmade by patients, staff and visitors during workshops led by artist Linda Griffiths at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

Karen Janody, curator at rb&hArts, the Trust’s dedicated arts team, said: “Carrie’s unique aesthetics and her passion for social heritage will make ‘NHS70: Thanks for Everything’ a perpetual emblem to the care provided by our staff – past, present and future – who are dedicated to caring for their patients.

“It will be a thought-provoking artwork that patients, visitors and staff can appreciate time and again, still discovering new layers of history. We’re really delighted to be working with Carrie and grateful for the Heritage Lottery Fund, City Living Local Life and the Brompton Fountain for supporting our vision and ensuring the piece is permanently displayed in the courtyard.”

Carrie commented: “I wanted to make a really beautiful permanent piece for the hospital’s courtyard as a thank you for the NHS, capturing the kind of love that everyone has for the NHS, the gratitude felt by most people, especially patients at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

“I hope the ceramic mural is evocative of time and change, showing that 70-year period in the life of nurses and doctors and the Trust’s achievements.”

The artwork will be unveiled at a public launch on 20th November from 12pm to 4pm. All are welcome and there is no need to book.


For further information, please contact:

Lucy Hunter
Communications officer
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 020 7352 8121 (ext.2237) Mobile : 07891 310 924
Email: l.hunter@rbht.nhs.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @RBandH

Notes to editors 

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s largest specialist centre for the treatment of heart and lung disease. Working from two sites, Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, West London, and Harefield Hospital, near Uxbridge, the Trust has an international reputation for the expertise of its staff, high standard of care and research success. Experts at the Trust help patients from all age groups who have heart and lung problems and provide some of the most complex surgery and sophisticated treatments available anywhere in the world.

The Trust is the UK’s largest centre for the treatment of adult congenital heart disease and is the country’s leading provider of specialist respiratory care. Over the years the Trust has been responsible for major medical breakthroughs, such as the UK’s first combined heart and lung transplant. It established the UK’s first adult service for cystic fibrosis, which is now one of Europe’s biggest treatment centres for the condition, and has pioneered the use of primary angioplasty for the treatment of heart attacks. Today the Heart Attack Centre at Harefield has one of the fastest arrival-to-treatment times in the UK, a crucial factor in patients’ survival.

As a member of the Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC), in collaboration with Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare Trust and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Trust helps to drive innovation and improved care for over 1.1 million patients each year in North West London, by aligning the research, education and clinical services of the partner organisations. Visit Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust website for more information.

rb&hArts, the Trust’s dedicated arts department, manages a programme of activities and commissions to enhance the Patient Experience, and wellbeing through the arts for patients, their families, staff and the local community. www.rbht.nhs.uk/arts #RBHARTS

Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt is a self-titled ‘craftivist’. Her work often blurs the boundaries between craft and activism. She has had a career spanning many media, including film, performance and sculpture. She is perhaps best known as a ceramicist and mosaicist, working internationally on large scale public murals.

Her recent work includes Voodoo Zulu Liberation Taxi, displayed at Coventry Transport Museum, raising awareness about the inhumane treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement and death rows. Other prominent public works include Dada the Trojan Horse, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Disobedient Objects for the V&A, and Mary Bamber – a Revolutionary Woman for Museum of Liverpool. Her most recently commissioned community project with The Treatment Rooms Collective is a ceramic mural in the new Acton Gardens development, Tree of Life. She was awarded the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2013 to advance the craft of community mosaics working with local communities in Chile and Mexico.

In 2018, Reichardt finally completed the transformation of her west London home into a giant mosaic mural – a process that took twenty years and tens of thousands of tiles to complete. As part of her participation in Nuart Aberdeen 2018, Reichardt collaborated with global human rights organisation Amnesty International on their BRAVE campaign, which aims to recognise and support human rights defenders around the world. In this case recognising women human rights defenders in the UK carrying forward the 'Suffragette Spirit' on the 100th anniversary of the first women receiving the right to vote.

Reichardt trained at Kingston University and achieved a First Class degree in Fine Art from Leeds Metropolitan. She was Artist-in-Residence at Camberwell Art College in 2009, and in 2016 she was the International Artist-in-Residence for the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, USA. She is currently undertaking the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Reichardt is frequently called to speak on the use of craft and art as protest and has presented at events around the world. This includes being the Key Note speaker at Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand Symposium, Melborne Australia, speaker for the Society of America Mosaic Artists Annual Conference,Philadelphia, USA and the British Association of Modern Mosaic forum at the V&A, London.

NHS70 Thanks for everything

The NHS70 Thanks for Everything project has been made possible by National Lottery players through a £7,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the permanent mosaic enabled by additional funding from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s City Living Local Life programme, and The Brompton Fountain.

The Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported