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A year with GOSH Arts

A year with GOSH Arts

A year with GOSH Arts

"A hospital is a clinical place, but it can also be a cultural space - a community of potential audiences and artists.

GOSH Arts offers opportunities for patients, families and staff to engage with art in all its forms whilst they are at the hospital.”

Supermundane mural in the Adolescent room

Premier Inn Clinical Building

“The overall feeling is of a colourful place. It puts me in a good mood when I walk through the reception area.”
- GOSH Parent

Last year we unveiled a series of extraordinary artworks in the newly opened Premier Inn Clinical Building.

Nature Trail

Improving the journey to the operating theatre for patients and families

Nature Trail mural
Our son finds theatre very distressing. We thought the corridor leading to theatre was brilliant… very calming.
GOSH Parent

The journey to the operating theatre can be a difficult and anxious time. Our newly extended Nature Trail and accompanying resources aim to improve this experience for patients and families.

Designed by Jason Bruges Studio and originally commissioned in 2012 for the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, we have now extended the Nature Trail into the Premier Inn Clinical Building to provide continuity and familiarity for families on their journey to surgery.

In the Nature Trail’s woodland, creatures such as hedgehogs, frogs and birds appear between the trees, creating an enchanting and calming distraction for patients on their way to theatre. The animals are created by more than 100 LED panels hidden beneath the bespoke woodland wallpaper, with motion sensors that detect individuals as they move along the corridor, triggering the animals to accompany them along their journey.

To accompany the Nature Trail we also commissioned illustrator Sarah Dennis to develop a resource for the pre-operative play team to use to prepare families for surgery. Sarah created an illustrated story book called Follow the Fishes and an activity sheet that includes a search and find, colouring activity and stickers.

The story gently and playfully takes patients through their journey to surgery, helping to familiarise them with the themes of the Nature Trail as well as describing some of the things they might see and experiences they will have when they come to hospital.

Super GOSH!

Supermundane's murals for the adolescent rooms

Supermundane's mural at GOSH

Graphic artist Rob Lowe, also known as Supermundane, created designs for two adolescent social rooms using his signature geometric patterns that play with line, colour and optical effects.

At the initial development stage Rob worked with young people to explore repeating patterns. Young people were invited to create a design that was cut into four pieces and then further developed using image editing software with surprising results. The patterns created by young people during the sessions can be spotted in the final design.

This incredible project shows us that GOSH are really listening. Creating this room for teenagers - a space to chill out away from the clinical environment is so important, and for that we are so grateful.
GOSH Young Peoples' Forum

Tidy Up

By Peut-Être Theatre

“An inventive children’s show that nimbly navigates a path between order and chaos.”
- The Stage

Tidy Up performance
I loved the show. I really thought it captured the sense of imagination, learning and daring associated with exploration and chaos and also the comfort associated with order and structure. It was lovely to see that the children loved it too.
Jane McNicholas, Clinical Psychologist

Peut-Être Theatre, a dance theatre company for young children, undertook a three-week creative residency at GOSH to develop their new show Tidy Up, in collaboration with families and staff.

The team used the hospital as a rehearsal and workshop space and ran daily movement sessions with children and families across outpatient clinics, wards and the Activity Centre.

They also met with staff from the Psychological Services Department who shared their expertise on early years development and the importance of risk-taking in play. The movements, conversations and experiences that came out of these sessions informed the content of the show and directly fed into the choreography.

At the end of each week patients and staff were invited to review the material developed by the team in a family-led critique, allowing them to shape a professional piece of performance.

Tidy Up premiered at GOSH during Family Arts Week to an audience of patients and families and is now touring nationally, thereby reaching a wide audience across the country and sharing the ideas and creativity of GOSH patients and staff, as well as important messages about the value of play in childhood. The show has already received several positive reviews from publications such as The Stage.

Splish Splash

Bringing Oily Cart’s show to the hydrotherapy pool at GOSH

GOSH Arts and the Physio Team collaborated to bring Oily Cart’s show Splish Splash to the hydrotherapy pool at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The immersive, interactive multi-sensory show was created by Oily Cart in partnership with National Theatre Wales as part of their NHS70 celebrations and took children and their physio’s or parents on a magical, watery, musical journey!

Children were selected by the physio team to come to the intimate performances, during which children, performers, physios and parents were in the pool together. The performances were integrated into the children’s planned hydrotherapy but were naturally very different to the normal sessions!

The hydrotherapy pool at GOSH is used by many different specialities within the physio team on a daily basis. The unique therapy environment of a pool uses the properties of water, e.g. buoyancy, warmth and hydrostatic pressure to facilitate movement which might not be possible on land and can help strengthen or relax muscles, improve fitness or relieve pain.

The hydrotherapy pool was transformed during the performance by underwater lighting, clouds of bubbles drifting from below, curtains of perfumed spray, and live music played on a floating marimba, which created sounds that could be felt as much as heard.

Splish Splash added that extra special motivation for the children to move, whether it be reaching for the rain with a hand or foot, or swimming over to the other side to hunt for treasure. If all therapy sessions were that creative, it would be amazing.
Nicola Hubert, Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist

The Heart of the Matter

Bringing together art and medicine to reflect on the human heart

Sculptures of hearts in glass cases

The Heart of the Matter is an exhibition that brings together art and medicine to reflect on the human heart.

The heart can symbolise romantic love and the centre of human emotion, but it is also the engine room of our body and an intricate piece of machinery.

Through artworks inspired by patients with heart conditions, their families and clinicians, the exhibition invites you to discover the extraordinary nature and complexity of this organ.

The Heart of The Matter began with a collaboration between artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino. In 2017, they brought together patients with heart conditions at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Bristol Heart Institute and the Adult Congenital & Paediatric Heart Unit of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, to look at the heart emotionally and metaphorically in workshops with scientists, artists, students, and nurses.

Conversations and stories from these workshops in turn inspired artworks that offer insight into the heart’s beauty, fragility and resilience, using scientific and artistic methods.

Medical 3D printing and topographical maps describe cardiovascular anatomy; digital animation responds to medical imaging; and other abstracted stories are given form in printed textiles, sound installations and sculpture.

The exhibition toured Newcastle, Bristol and London during 2018, with some works on display at GOSH.


There are lots of ways to get involved with GOSH Arts:

- Look out for artworks around the hospital.

- Take part in our weekly workshops with our Resident Artists who tour wards and public spaces.

- Request resources from Artists or the Play Team.

- Find out about special projects in wards and departments across the Hospital; there may be a specific project you can take part in during your stay.

- Do your Arts Award at GOSH. We can support you in gaining an accredited award while you are in hospital!


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When I’m older I want to be an artist who works in a hospital.
GOSH patient

Thank you to all the patients, families and staff who have taken part and supported us this year and to all the fantastic artists and cultural organisations who have contributed to the programme and created new commissions for the hospital:

Ali Winstanley
All Your Dance Needs
Anna Ledgard
Anne Harild
Art UK
Blossom and Crumb
Brian Lobel
Caroline Smith
Cecilia Knapp
Chichester Festival Theatre
Dana Al Mazrouei
David McKenny
Davina Drummond
Drew Archie
Eames Fine Art
Eleven Design
Ella Hempstead
Emily Haworth Booth
Emily Speed
Emily Underwood-Lee
Factory Settings
Faiza Yasin
Frances Gallagher
Francisco Zhan
Gary Day
George Simkin
Georgina Davy
Giovani Biglino
Hannah Treharne
Heather McClelland
Helen Farley
Ishbel Mull
Isobel Manning
Jason Bruges
Jefford Horrigan
Joanna Brinton
Joe Danks
Joe McGrail
John Kelly
Judith Brocklehurst
Justin Piperger
Kimberly Harvey
Lena Wurz
Lubna Chowdhary
Mark Levin
Mark Titchner
Marysa Dowling
Matt Shaw
Muff Architecture/Art
Naomi Hammerton
National Portrait Gallery
Nickie Miles-Wildin
Nicky Hirst
Nicola Petto
Oily Cart
Oliver Beer
Paintings in Hospitals
Peut-Être Theatre
Phil Greenwood
Random International
Roses Theatre
Sarah Blanc
Scott Mead Fine Art Photography
Sofie Layton
Studio Hato
The Sugar Sisters
the vacuum cleaner
Tim Burrough
Victoria & Albert Museum
Victoria Henstock
Why Not Associates
Wildwood Gallery
Wonderland Design

GOSH Arts is funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity with support from The Mead Family Foundation.