Saturday, 28 September 2013


First of all, a huge welcome to Manchester to all of you attending the Conservative Party Conference. Whilst I'm sure the weeks agenda is a full and exciting one, the wonderful world of Arts and Health offers you the most splendid welcome if you'd like to have a conversation about 21st Century well-being and health. Arguably the crucible of this growing global movement that sees culture and the arts playing a critical role in how we put patients at the heart of care. (lets remember the word q u a l i t y) But beyond the expanding and contacting landscape of the NHS, wellbeing is best promoted in all those schools, shopping centres, prisons and streets - the places that we all live our day-to-day realities. So, if you're a member of parliament, a minister of state, a civil servant or an interested other and you genuinely care about health and wellbeing, get in touch and find out more about our offer to you.

I got an intriguing email from the designers, Conway and Young. To mark the 65th anniversary of the NHS; a healthcare system that is free for all at the point of delivery, based on clinical need and not ability to pay - they were speculating what a future NHS might look like. With a chilling provocation, they asked me to imagine, THE YEAR IS 2078 AND THE NHS NO LONGER EXISTS and I was invited to speculate along with 64 other people, what this landscape might look like. I’m not quite sure that I’ve produced what they wanted, but I share with you some dystopian ramblings. I’d like to think of this as the bastard progeny of Jonathan Swift’s economist in A Modest Proposal married to a Riddley Walker aesthetic, with the uplifting people-friendly, feel-good-factor of Soylent Green. Whilst I was able to play with this, I am in debt to Sarah Lawton for her interpretation, her eye for a grand thing and uncanny ability with an A0 printer! A couple of variants will be posted on the blog over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to see what Conway and Young entice from other contributors and how they turn all this material around and of course, I’ll link it on the blog when it comes to fruition.

The above image is one of two on this posting by the sublime poet, Robert Montgomery.

Last week, a few people got in touch about the Hidden Mothers images, so this week I can’t resist a friendly little jab at our friends in haute couture who wrap their fetish-based misogyny in grander terms, but don’t half like to hide/olize women too! Here is Jean Shrimpton, courtesy of Avedon. Much as though I'm tempted to post photographs of Femen activists taking to the catwalks - I can't have that one misconstrued! So, just a respectful acknowledgement and a nervous smile.

Just, What do we know about the role of the arts in the delivery of social care?
A new report into the role of the arts within the delivery of social care has been published this week, the culmination of a study commissioned by Creative & Cultural Skills, Skills for Care, and Skills for Care and Development. Catherine Large, Joint CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills, highlighted the need for greater dialogue between the creative and social care sectors: “The care sector needs to recruit an estimated 90,000 qualified workers per year to replace those leaving the sector through retirement and career progression. At the same time, there are thousands of young people graduating from creative arts courses every year who struggle to find employment – surely there is a way we can work together to create meaningful roles for creative practitioners whilst also benefiting those in care settings?”

Download the full report by clicking on the lovely green and unfurling frond.

2014 Hippocrates Prize
With categories for the NHS, young people and an open call, this is a must for poets concerned with health and wellbeing. With a 1st prize for the winning poem in each category of £5,000, the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In its first 4 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 5000 entries from 55 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia. Click on the second Montgomery piece below to find out more.

Clore Poetry & Literature Awards
The Clore Duffield Foundation has announced that the sixth funding round under its £1 million programme to fund poetry and literature initiatives for children and young people across the UK is now open for applications. Through the programme, schools, FE colleges, community groups, libraries and other arts/cultural organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support participatory learning projects and programmes focused on literature, poetry and creative writing for under 19s.

The closing date for applications is the 7th March 2014. Read more at:

I will be out of the county next week, but I hope that the blog will, at the very least, contain a tasty morsel on the humble Puffer Fish. Here's a clue for the public art aficionados, or those of you with an eye for global inequalities.

Nominet Trust Digital Edge Programme 
The Nominet Trust has announced that the next advisory closing date for its Digital Edge programme is the 27th November 2013. The Digital Edge programme aims to support projects that use new technology to engage young people in new, more meaningful and relevant ways and enable their participation in building a more resilient society.  There is no upper or lower funding limit as the Trust like to encourage applicants to be realistic about what they need to achieve their project objectives. The Advisory Stage 1 date is set to allow enough lead time for successful applicants to have sufficient time to complete their Stage 2 application. There is also a final deadline date for Stage1 applications; any applications received after this date will not be included in the current funding round. The final deadline for applications is the 11th December 2013.

This little wood engraving is by the minor artist John Farleigh and is called melancholia. I include it simply because sometimes, artists just get it so, so right.   Thanks as ever...C.P.

No comments:

Post a Comment