Air Arts, Royal Derby Hospital  

Report and photographs by Chris Jones

Air Arts is a charity founded in 2007 to promote wellbeing and health for patients, staff and the public at Derby teaching hospitals - the Royal Derby Hospital and London Road Community Hospital. ( It began with visual arts displayed along the corridors with sculptures within the enclosed open areas. Many of us will have seen the displayed paintings over the years and peered in passing into the open spaces showing for example the woven willow sculptures of Lara Ellen Bacon at Royal Derby. Perhaps in the past, on the way to an appointment, you have seen in the corridors our previous President Andrew Macara’s oil paintings and member Johny Bermudez portraits, together with member Julie Marshall’s Water sculpture in the King’s Treatment Centre foyer.

To celebrate their 10-year birthday, Air Arts invited artists who had previously exhibited to support an exhibition showing from March to September 2017. The inauguration event was held during the early evening on 21 March at the Royal and involved a reception for the artists and staff, with a couple of speeches, refreshments, networking, socialising and an invitation to view the exhibits throughout the hospital. Artists were also offered a display table and eight or so of the thirty-nine artists and organisations showed their other work this way. Andrew, Julie and Johny were all there and Julie had a table display for her lino prints. Live background music was provided by two young musicians with flute and sax treating us to the likes of Danny Boy, adding to a pleasant evening and gently suggesting that Air Arts also help the patients with non-visual arts. An exhibition guide booklet was provided, available throughout the hospital, explaining about Air Arts and providing floor by floor maps (they call them levels) of where to find the exhibitors’ work.

It would take a stout heart and a good pair of shoes to see the whole exhibition, displayed over six levels and probably needing a mile of walking, but it was essential to view at least our three artists’ work before leaving. Andrew’s work is the most accessible, located on Level 1 at the far end of the corridor leading from the main entrance, depicting a peaceful sunlit woodland scene. Julie and Johny’s works are in the library on Level 2: Johny has submitted three portraits of medical pioneers from the past and Julie’s linocuts focus on our relationship with nature – the work of both artists is ideally suited for quiet reflection in the calm space of the library.




Last updated: Tuesday 25th April 2017