An exhibition of artworks created over the past 23 years by brain injury survivors at Homerton Hospital is to launch at Hackney Museum on 14 June.
The Mind’s Eye will feature a special selection from almost 3,000 works by patients who have attended the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit (RNRU).
The unit has its own art room, first opened in 1995, where survivors take part in regular workshops.
The majority of the RNRU’s patients have suffered head injuries, strokes, haemorrhages or other forms of traumatic brain damage – some as a result of car accidents or violent crime.
The hospital’s art curator Shaun Caton, who has worked at the unit since its inception, said: “It’s not just patients that come into the art room, they bring their kids, their partners, their family friends.
“They come in and help and by this collective process some healing is going on.”
More than 1,000 professional artists have volunteered their time over the years to help RNRU patients create pieces and experiment with various techniques.
Caton added: “Staff, patients, relatives, volunteers, visiting artists – all of us collectively work together to help the patients to recover.”
He says patients tell him the workshops also help with practical skills such as holding objects, concentration and using small tools – as well as giving them a fresh interest in art.
Works to feature in The Mind’s Eye include a cabinet of curiosities, a paper sculpture of a tiger, and a book made from recycled magazines.
Cllr Jon Burke, cabinet member with responsibility for Hackney Museum, said: “Hackney is incredibly lucky to have a such a unique service, which empowers patients by helping them to fully express themselves.
“The enduring popularity and importance of the RNRU can be seen in this exhibition, with works spanning 23 years.
“It is truly inspiring to see the role that art and creativity plays in the rehabilitation of patients.”
The Mind’s Eye was created in partnership by Hackney Council and Homerton University Hospital.
A public launch with a drinks reception takes place from 6-7.45pm on 14 June, with free tickets available on Eventbrite.
The exhibition – the 57th to be produced by RNRU’s arts programme – will be open until 1 September.
For more information on upcoming events at Hackney Museum, please visit hackney.gov.uk/museum/ 8 June, 2018