Local artist Jane Smith says the NHS must be “protected at all costs” after donating a series of her works to Homerton Hospital.
Smith, whose illustrations and linocuts often feature colourful scenes of Hackney’s streets and parks, wanted to give something back to the health service and to the hospital’s 37-year-old art programme.
It follows the launch of her exhibition in the Homerton’s main corridor last summer – the first public art show at the hospital for two years because of the pandemic.
Smith told the Citizen: “Homerton Hospital is a vital part of the community; it has always been there when I’ve needed it over the years.
“I believe that the NHS is practically our most vital asset and should be protected at all costs. It has helped me so I’m more that happy to give something back.”
The Homerton’s art curator Shaun Caton revealed the news about Smith’s “wonderful” donation, and said most of the works have already been put on display, with some in the corridor next to the Department of Metabolic Medicine.
He said: “Jane has donated these stunning artworks in recognition of the hospital’s art programme, which has been running for 37 years, supporting local artists, organisations and individuals whose work is Hackney-centric and topical.
“Her exhibition of lively Hackney street and park scenes has been tremendously popular, with thousands of staff, patients and visitors passing by it every day in the main corridor.
“This generous gift will also enliven another section of the Trust with delightfully engaging artworks.”
Caton lifted spirits during the first lockdown in April 2020 when he shared some of the artworks created by patients with brain injuries in the hospital’s Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, which has an art room that first opened 25 years ago.
He added: “Homerton Hospital is one of the great, outstanding London hospitals to use original contemporary art in its building design, regularly showcasing exciting exhibitions in its corridors, presenting the artworks of world famous artists adjacent to therapeutic paintings and collages made by patients.
“This unique approach to incorporating art into a modern environment is actually proven to reduce stress and provides people with a wonderfully contemplative space.
“With many hundreds of artworks on display along its walls, the hospital sometimes accepts high quality gifts from artists and always showcases them to their best advantage.”