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Art in hospital

Air arts logo

Air Arts
The arts programme at Derby Teaching Hospitals

Air Arts is Derby Teaching Hospitals arts charity developed to provide positive distraction and enhance the hospital environment. Over the past 8 years air has evolved into an innovative programme of creative activities designed to support patient, visitor and staff wellbeing. The programme has two distinct strands; Welcome and Engage, both of which provide positive distraction from illness and opportunities to engage in creative activities to alleviate boredom and anxieties.

ZoomAir arts coridor


The Welcome strand of the programme includes a twice yearly arts exhibition over an increasing number of sites at the Royal Derby Hospital encompassing both hanging works and sculpture with a new arts exhibition launching at the London Road Community Hospital in the near future. Weekly music performances in public spaces help to create a welcoming atmosphere for all with a variety of styles including acoustic, woodwind, strings and voice. 

“The music stopped me in my tracks.. soothed my soul for a few minutes.”Visitor

ZoomChris Clarke - Derventio QuartetChris Clarke - Derventio Quartet


The Engage strand of the programme focuses on participatory activities with patients on the wards.  Engage artists work closely with staff to identify artists potential issues which may be supported by an artistic intervention to create a culture of holistic healthcare and to enhance the medical model.  4 lead  have developed long term projects throughout Derby Teaching Hospitals including Maison Foo’s ward visitors the Banishers Of Boredom (BOBs), Rhythm and Moves with Andrea Haley, The Imaginarium; a travelling story-telling invention developed by Jen Sumner and Drumming workshops on the Stroke ward of Royal Derby Hospital working alongside occupational therapy. 

Zoommemory arts

Examples of patient and staff feedback:

“It brought me to life! lovely to have someone to talk to and something to keep you mind alive”


Made me feel like I was still living, It was a highlight, breaking up the monotony – taking away the focus of being ill


It’s lifted the spirits and make us think about the patient as a whole, but also given us something else to focus on – ‘what can we do to make the patients’ experience better’ - and yet we can have a good time ad get enjoyment out of it as well…would I recommend other wards engaging in air arts projects? Absolutely!

Senior sister 

This programme can only be achieved through fundraising and charitable donations.  If you are a company, artist collective, or individual who would like to sponsor an activity or contribute a gift in kind please contact the arts programme manager Laura Waters on laura@airarts.netor 01332 786203