The power of art to heal and console is expressed in a new exhibition of work in a range of media including sculpture, paintings, glass and photography at Sarum College beginning 28 January 2012.
The exhibition will be opened by Richard Cork – art critic, historian, broadcaster and exhibition organiser – who’s forthcoming book, The Healing Presence of Art: A History of Art in Western Hospitals is due to be published this spring by Yale University Press.
The therapeutic value of art in physical, mental, and spiritual healing has been recognised since the Middle Ages. The earliest hospices, such as that at Isenheim with its famous Grünwald altarpiece, were dominated by large and often exquisitely painted crucifixions, a present reminder of Christ’s sufferings.
Art gave comfort and strength to those who were overtaken by disease and cared for by religious foundations with only the most rudimentary medical help at their disposal. These carers followed Christ’s instruction to ‘heal the sick, feed the hungry, and let the oppressed go free’ which was, and remains, a cornerstone of Christian life.
Participating artists include Sally Fawkes & Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Herkstroter, Charlotte Mayer FRBS, Ruth Oaks, Keith Rand ARBS, Tracey Sheppard, Will Spankie and Ryan Tabor.
In addition to these, the Sarum College Common Room will display paintings by members of Freedom from Torture’s art therapy group. For details, visit the Freedom from Torture (formerly The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) website.
On Wednesday 22 February (6pm for a 6.30pm start), there will be a presentation at Sarum College of poetry and prose by members of the Freedom from Torture’s Write to Life programme. The evening costs £5, with all proceeds going to Freedom from Torture. Further Details
The Art of Healing exhibition is free and open to the public until 8 May 2012. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays).