Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

Homerton Hospital’s curator has shared new artworks by patients with brain injuries to provide a “positive affirmation of life at a challenging time for us all”.

The majority of the pieces have been created in the past couple of weeks at the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, which has an art room that first opened 25 years ago.

Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

Patients who have suffered head injuries, strokes, haemorrhages, or other forms of traumatic brain damage, use the room to unleash their creativity and take part in workshops led by professional artists.

Curator Shaun Caton has worked at the unit since its inception.

With hospital staff working relentlessly during the coronavirus pandemic, and residents under lockdown, Caton asked the Citizen to publish a selection of patients’ “uplifting and vibrant” collages.

Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

He said: “They are a positive affirmation of life and a much needed visual tonic in this challenging time for us all.

“Making art right now helps these patients cope with anxiety and depression, but it also helps to boost morale.

Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

“People in the hospital are often writing to me and asking me when we will have a new exhibition or display, but we are unable to do much at present as everything is focused on helping people with Covid-19.

“It’s a huge task but we will rise to the challenge.”

Caton was recently forced to postpone a major exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

He added: “One of our nurses stopped and had a chat with me and said, ‘It’s such a shame we can’t see any new exhibitions at the moment’, or words to that effect.

“This got me thinking about the power of the internet and making a virtual presentation of some new artworks created by our brain injury patients, in special workshops that we run twice weekly.

“Art is a vehicle for self-expression for patients with communication difficulties, and it provides a sense of wellbeing and gives a sense of achievement, no matter how small.”

Image: courtesy Homerton Hospital

Caton says the Homerton has a “wonderful collection of artworks created by patients, many on public display”, adding: “What people might not know is that we have an archive of some 2,500 artworks spanning 25 years of the art project at the Homerton.

“Under normal circumstances and by appointment only, we allow students to come and see this fascinating archive.

“We hope that sharing a few of these will help us to raise the profile of this outstanding work and provide some positivity for everyone in the borough.”