149 artworks by 24 artists

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is an Art UK Partner

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In the nineteenth century, Florence Nightingale wrote: The effect on sickness of beautiful objects, of variety of objects and especially of brilliancy of colour is hardly at all appreciated. People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour and light, we do know this, they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery. (1860) It seems incredible that it is a relatively recent recognition that the environment within a healthcare setting has a major impact on a person’s well being and road to recovery, when Florence Nightingale acknowledged its effects over a century and a half ago. The arts enrich the built environment, enhancing care and healing, a springboard for new relationships and a catalyst for cultural change. There are very few historical artworks in South Wales Hospitals, mostly portraits of the industrialists who became benefactors of the early health provision in deprived areas. It appears that the most popular and noticeable method of donation was to buy a bed. Since 2005, and gathering momentum every year, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has taken up the initiative, ensuring that Capital Building Schemes earmark a percentage for artworks. This is reflected in the current Collection. The spirit of each body of work commissioned for a scheme, as well as enhancing the general environment for patients, visitors and staff, must evoke the role or effect it should have on that specialty’s patients e.g. distracting, calming, enlivening, practical, questioning, therapeutic, reminiscence. Experience has proved that interpretations of Swansea locales are a must! There is no free access to the paintings. Permission to view must be sought at all times.