Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Art of Caring 2019 - Submissions Open

Now in its 5th year The Art of Caring is needed more than ever to show support for Nurses, Carers, and the NHS. This is your chance to exhibit an artwork that demonstrates your passion for this theme. If this is your first time then check out Anna Bowman's documentary film about last year's exhibition HERE.

The Art of Caring is split into two clear exhibitions.

The first is at St George's Hospital (May 2019) where printed postcards of your artwork are displayed on the walls of the hospital to help celebrate International Nurses Day. This is an inclusive exhibition.
The second is at St Pancras Hospital (July - October 2019) and uses a mixture of original artworks and printed postcards. Works will be selected by the Arts Project curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.

It is Free to enter.

Send up to 3 jpeg images at an A6 size to

We are looking for artworks about Care and/or Caring but also consider the theme for International Nurses Day this year..... Health for All.

You will receive a confirmation email within 7 days with your catalogue/exhibition numbers.

Before the exhibition we will print 2 postcards of each of your artworks. One copy will be sent to you and the other will be exhibited at St George's Hospital, Tooting, UK in May, 2019.

For the full details about how to submit your work visit our SUBMIT page.

Deadline for submissions is 7th April 2019
(We may close early if all 400 exhibition spaces are filled)

Alban Low, Bryan Benge, Dean Reddick and Stuart Simler

The exhibition is once again kindly supported by Supported by Kingston University and St George's, University of London

Monday, 10 December 2018

Love Tokens and Bad Pennies exhibition

After the success of the Small World Futures exhibition in 2018, we are returning with a new inclusive art project Love Tokens and Bad Pennies at the #unsettledgallery in 2019. We will be placing one artwork on the London streets during each day of February. Artworks will be accompanied by a new written work by a poet or author here on the CollectConnect blog. The artworks will be placed in or beside fountains and sacred waterways in London. The public can view them or pick them up for free and take them home. 

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turns up?
Both the Love Token and the Bad Penny are part of the currency of life, two sides of the same coin. These everyday objects are defaced or distinguished to help us remember those who we hold dear and those who we would rather forget. 

Love Tokens are part of our heritage but live on today as symbols of courtship and love. The most common tokens are coins smoothed flat on one or both sides.  They can then be engraved, either with initials, messages of love or even drawings; or embellished with stones, jewels or punched-out designs. In the past such tokens were exchanged between lovers, but this exhibition reaches beyond these traditional boundaries. In an age of virtual friendships, tokens are a tangible memento of time spent together which equally capture the poignancy of loss. In the UK the history of tokens includes ones for prisoners or convicts (engraved by those being deported to the penal colonies in Australia) and pilgrims. Tokens were often kept close to a loved one's heart and body.  So as not to be mistaken for other coins and objects they were bent and manipulated: you can still find “benders” (a coin bent twice, one side up and the other side down) in the muddy banks of the River Thames.

The phrase 'A Bad Penny always turns up' may come from the fact that historically coins could be 'bad', that is, forged or debased in some way.  In the Middle Ages, people might 'clip' coins to remove some of the precious metal they were made from. As early as the 14th Century the term 'bad penny' was being used to describe a person or thing which is unpleasant, disreputable, or otherwise unwanted, especially one which repeatedly appears at inopportune times. What made people link bad pennies with the notion of something unwelcome returning is not known. Perhaps it was the sense that, if you clip or pass on a bad penny, it won't be long before it comes back to you in your change. 

Artists and writers
Lesley Cartwright
Stella Tripp
Tracy Boness
Francesca Albini
Melanie Honebone
Eskild Beck
Debbie Chessell
Alban Low
Dean Reddick
Ed Arantus
Bryan Benge
Simon Brewster
Barbara Dougan
Natalie Low
SJ Fowler
Ginny Reddick
Rebecca Lowe
Chopsticks Nelson
Astra Papachristodoulou
Chris Brown
Susie Mendelsson

1-28 February 2019

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Art of Caring documentary film 2018

Thank you to everyone who made this year's Art of Caring such a success. We closed the exhibition last week at St Pancras Hospital with a screening of Anna Bowman's wonderful film. The Art of Caring is a special exhibition, its inclusive ideals represent the special contribution that artists, nurses, carers and the NHS bring to our communities.

The film includes Interviews with artists and music and entertainment from the Opening Night of The Art of Caring exhibition at St Pancras Hospital's Gallery. For the last three years Peter Herbert, the Gallery's Curator and Manager, and his team have worked with artist and curator Alban Low to create a unique exhibition celebrating nursing and the NHS. The St Pancras exhibition builds on Alban Low's open submission and exhibition of postcards of art work, shown at St George's Hospital, Tooting. Artists interviewed in the film include Chris Bird, Sara Bowman, Peter Herbert, Alban Low, Chloe Wing, Susie Mendelsson, Elaine Harper-Gay, residents at Stacey Street Nursing Home, Danny Mooney and Lily Mooney. Opening Night music by Bee Ororo, Camden and Islington NHS Choir and Lucinda Sieger

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Art of Caring at St Pancras Hospital (until 18th October 2018)

The ART OF CARING exhibition opened with strength and passion with more than 150 guests greeting the unveiling of consistently strong artworks at St Pancras Hospital. On show was original work from 30 artists as well as postcard art from around 100 worldwide artists.

The Art of Caring has grown over its 3 years at St Pancras and is now one of the cornerstones of the gallery's exciting yearly schedule. 2018 offered us a glimpse of political awareness and tender moments of reflection. Elaine Harper Gay's triptych of pencil drawings reflecting on the powerful faces of the men who shape our global health. Contrasts this with the work of our youngest artist Lily Mooney who drew inspiration from the power of mermaids, and you'll understand what a brilliantly eclectic exhibition this is. 

On the stage we heard the voices of the C&I NHS Choir who sung beautiful songs including the seminal Lean On Me. Our guest singers Lucinda Sieger and Bee Ororo  wowed the audience with songs of love and hope including a rousing Tom Waites cover song. Guest speakers were Caroline Harris-Birtles, Andrew Machin and Paul Newcombe. Another lively, entertaining and inspired opening night in the gallery. 

Please do visit this wonderful collection of art. The exhibition runs Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm until Thursday 18/10/18 when the evening will include the premiere screening of Anna Bowman's new short film about the Art Of Caring. And remember to check out our suspended and mobile tennis installation Anyone for tennis? with sketches of players by Alban Low. You'll want to pick up a racquet and throw a ball or two in the air.

For more photos please click HERE.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

NHS 70th Birthday Art Exhibition at St George's Hospital

The National Health Service is turning 70 on 5 July 2018. We want to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, to show our appreciation of the vital role the service plays in our lives, and to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out. 

St George's Hospital in London have asked us to put on a special Art of Caring exhibition in their gallery space to help celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. The exhibition charts the history of the Art of Caring throughout its brief history (only 4 years!) and showcases some of the written and pictorial contributions from artists in 2018. Come and see for yourself from the 5th - 22nd July in the gallery space in Ingredients Restaurant, Lanesborough Wing, St George Hospital, London, SW17 0QT.

This year for the Art of Caring we wanted to mark the NHS' birthday with awards for both Art and Writing. The prizes for these awards have been generously donated by the staff at the Faculty of Health, Social Care, and Education at Kingston University and St George's, University of London. We're excited to announce that Danny Mooney is the winner of the Art Prize and Latoya Igbinosun the Writing Prize. 

Danny Mooney is a highly respected artist living and working Hastings, Although Danny has prosopagnosia (facial blindness), in the studio he draws and paints people. "Making images of people helps me remember them," he says. "Making images that other people can recognise increases the level of interest and difficulty." He recognises people by how they move. "I can only make a recognisable image of someone if they are animated." Mooney sees his work as wall mounted sculpture, with paint as the medium. The physicality and texture of the paint is key. For the last five years he has been painting every day on his iPad. These are always from life, and usually of the sea. "I love technology and painting on the iPad is like having my sketch book and all my colours with me all the time." Danny Mooney studied at Goldsmiths and London Guildhall University in London. Mooney’s work has been exhibited in the UK and America and is represented in collections in the UK, America, Switzerland, Japan and China

Latoya Igbinosun is currently studying Adult Nursing at Kingston University and St George's, University of London.

Here at the Art of Caring we are also publishing a new book to accompany our bestselling 2016 chapbook Resilience. Health is a Human Right is 16 page colouring book published by Sampson Low Ltd. Over 200 nursing students from Kingston University and St George’s University of London tapped into their creative juices to produce inspirational writing on the 2018 International Nurses’ Day theme ‘A Voice to Lead: Health is a Human Right’.

Visiting Professor Karen Norman introduced this year’s Art of Caring writing competition by inviting participants to create an ‘aphorism' on the IND theme. An ‘aphorism’ historically refers to the medical rules written by Hippocrates. Nowadays, it’s defined as ‘a concise expression of doctrine or principle of any generally accepted truth conveyed in a pithy, memorable statement.’ A good example is Florence Nightingale’s famous aphorism: ‘Hospitals should do the sick no harm.’ Here we present 27 written works chosen by the Kingston University Nursing Society in this special chapbook. Buy your copy at

The Art of Caring is an inclusive art exhibition that celebrates the role of nurses and carers on International Nurses’ Day (12th May) each year. The first Art of Caring was held at The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames in 2015 and featured 252 artworks from 133 artists. The exhibition was the idea of Kingston University Nursing Society, faculty staff members, visiting professors, the faculty’s artist-in-residence Alban Low and the Head of Nursing at Kingston and St George’s, University of London Dr Julia Gale.

Each year artists of all ages, skills and backgrounds are invited to submit work on the International Nurses’ Day theme and to consider the exhibition’s recurring concepts of Caring and Care. Submission is free, and no work is rejected. Each artwork is printed as a postcard and displayed on the wall. A copy of the postcard is sent to each artist wherever they live around the world.

In 2016 the exhibition expanded to include written submissions in the form of a three line poem in the tradition of Japanese haikus. These were printed onto prescription sheets and displayed once again at The Rose Theatre gallery. The Art of Caring was also exhibited at St Pancras Hospital in 2016 with a mixture of original and postcard art on display. Each year since then the exhibition has travelled to St Pancras Hospital under the guidance of curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay. It is a fabulous opportunity to see the work afresh amongst this vibrant artistic community.

St George’s Hospital became a new home for the Art of Caring in 2017. For two weeks a busy corridor in the Atkinson Morley Wing was transformed into an art gallery. The exhibition was visited by the Chief Nursing Officer for England and Executive Director at NHS England Professor Jane Cummings. It proved to be very popular with nurses and service users alike. Over 4 years the Art of Caring has exhibited over 1180 paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, haikus, poems, aphorisms and sculptures. In the year of the NHS’ 70th birthday the Art of Caring still retains its popularity and inclusive ideals.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The Art of Caring celebrates International Nurses Day 2018

Today we celebrated International Nurses Day at the Art of Caring exhibition in St George's Hospital, Tooting, London, UK. The exhibition looked fabulous on the walls, and we had plenty of visitors stop to take a look. The postcard artworks have been exhibited together in small groups at eye level. The haikus and aphorisms are written on placards carried by small figures underneath. 

The Art of Caring received 330 submissions on the subject of Care and Caring from more than 170 artists. Much of the work was influenced by this year’s International Nurses Day theme ‘Health is a Human Right’.

Today the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Professor Jane Cummings, thanked all nurses for their significant contribution in providing safe, effective, compassionate care for patients and those they care for.
"It fills me with pride when I see the fantastic work and world class care provided by nurses across the country and International Nurses Day (IND) is the perfect opportunity to recognise their amazing contribution to health and care globally."

You can see the Art of Caring exhibition outside Ingredients Restaurant, First Floor, Lanesborough Wing, St George's Hospital until the 30th May 2018. The restaurant has over 12,000 visitors a week so I'm sure you'll be rubbing shoulders with nurses, doctors, porters, and patients as you view the artwork.

A portfolio of images from the Art of Caring exhibition at St George's Hospital can be viewed HERE.

Bryan Benge
Thank you Bryan Benge, Alban Low and Anna Bowman for setting up the exhibition on the 10th May. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Art of Caring 2018 at St George's Hospital

We're back! The Art of Caring is just days away and we've got a fine array of art and pithy wordplay to help celebrate International Nurses Day. This year we'll be exhibiting over 200 artworks and 100+ poems/aphorisms from the 10th - 30th May 2018. Come and view the exhibition on the First Floor (outside Ingredients Restaurant), Lanesborough Wing, St George's Hospital, Tooting, UK.

Now in its fourth year the Art of Caring received over 320 submissions on the subject of Care and Caring. The exhibition celebrates International Nurses Day on the 12th May 2018, and this year’s theme is ‘Health is a Human Right’. It includes the work of creative people of all ages, from artists to nurses, and from people who have experience of being a carer and/or a service user.

All the artworks are exhibited as postcard sized images. After the exhibition closes at St George's Hospital (on the 30th May) it will travel to St Pancras Hospital where we exhibit original art in different sizes, formats, and materials alongside some of the postcards. The Private View at St Pancras will be on the 19th July 2018 and will be a fantastic affair, hosted by curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.

Two prizes have been very generously donated by staff at the Faculty of Health, Social Care, and Education at Kingston University and St George's University, London. We will be announcing the winners of the Art prize and the Aphorism prize in a few weeks time.

Considering the theme of the Art of Caring exhibition and the great feedback we received from people last year, the Arts department at St George’s Hospital have selected some of their favourite postcard sized artworks to be included in the exhibition celebrating the NHS 70th at St George’s Hospital. The exhibition starts at the end of June 2018, more info to follow.

A list of the all the artists exhibiting can be found on the AOC artists page.

The poster image from Danny Mooney ('Say no to hidden suffering') was selected by members of the Kingston University Nursing Society. Thank you to Paul Newcombe, Dr Karen Norman, Dr Julia Gale, and Kingston University & St George's, University of London for supporting the exhibition.