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  • James Stewart

King Edward VII's Hospital Art Rental Project

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Zimmer Stewart Gallery are pleased to present a collaboration with King Edward VII's Hospital in London, W1, to showcase eighteen original paintings by six emerging artists over six floors in their new Medical Centre on Beaumont Street.

King Edward VII's Hospital

The King Edward VII's Hospital is an independent charitable hospital with a unique heritage of Royal and Military Patronage. Their commitment to outstanding patient care dates back to 1899, when sisters Agnes and Fanny Keyser devoted themselves and their home to caring for sick and wounded officers returning from the Second Boer War.

In early 2022, the new medical centre was opened opposite the main hospital to offer a world class facility for diagnostic services and out patient care.

Contemporary Art in Hospitals

Ridley Road (oil on linen 250 x 190 cm) by Tom Farthing in the main reception area
Ridley Road (oil on linen 250 x 190 cm) by Tom Farthing in the main reception area

For many decades hospital managers have understood the need for good contemporary art in hospitals. As with many other settings (offices, conference centres etc) the placement of art serves a purpose beyond merely decorating a space.

This primary purpose is important, art chosen needs to 'fit' the space and not be overwhelming.

The artwork also needs to serve to:

  • Promote and reinforce the culture, standards and aims of the organisation

  • Create a distraction and provoke discussion (see more below)

  • Show that the organisation supports living artists and so builds goodwill

Why Art Matters

Three paintings from the Stade series of works (oil on canvas and board, 50 x 60 cm) by Andrew Hardy.
Three paintings from the Stade series of works (oil on canvas and board, 50 x 60 cm) by Andrew Hardy.

Research has shown that art can:

  • Ease anxiety, stress and depression for both patients and staff

  • Shorten length of stay in hospitals for patients

  • Reduces the need for painkilling medication

  • Increase staff morale

  • Improve communication between patients and staff, and between staff members (team building)

And so enhance overall the experience for all users of the building as well as improve patient care outcomes.

Case Studies:

  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has shown that chemotherapy patients who were able to view rotating art exhibitions during recovery reported reduced rates of anxiety and depression (case study 10 - Power of Art link below)

  • Perceptions of pain and stress decreased in subjects who had blood taken in a room with visual arts compared to those in a room with no visual arts (Palmer, 1999)


Zimmer Stewart Art Rental Collaboration

Totem Love, oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm by Karolina Albricht, in one of the lower ground floor waiting areas.
Totem Love, oil on canvas 100 x 120 cm by Karolina Albricht, in one of the lower ground floor waiting areas.

Our brief for selecting the art and artists was to source large and medium paintings by a group of emerging artists.

The new King Edward VII Medical Centre has been completed to the highest standards and the art chosen needs to reflect this, as well as achieve the aims set out above.

Each floor in the centre offers different services such as imaging and diagnostics, Musculoskeletal Health, Women's Health, General Surgery, Urology and Dermatology, so we selected the art to allow each department/floor to have its own look and feel within the overall design of the building.

Blanket of Evening Sky, oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm, by Lucy Ralph in one of the corridors.
Blanket of Evening Sky, oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm, by Lucy Ralph in one of the corridors.

Through renting the works, rather than buying the hospital can showcase new art in rotation exploring different mediums, styles and cultures: In effect exhibiting new works to patients, staff and visitors.

Zimmer Stewart have experience in exhibiting contemporary art since 2003, and we know that perception of art is subjective and this is why it it great at creating points of discussion.

Untitled, oil on Canvas, 152 x 182 cm by Amanda Houchen in one of the corridors.
Untitled, oil on Canvas, 152 x 182 cm by Amanda Houchen in one of the corridors.

Contemporary art can be challenging, but if seen in the right context it can also expose the viewer to art, mediums or an artist that they might not otherwise have seen.

As a gallery we try to show works that are innovative, original and by artists with integrity.

Art in a public space can be seen differently from art that one might hang at home.

Untitled,  oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm by Mengxi Zhang.
Untitled, oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm by Mengxi Zhang.

Placing art in communal spaces in an opportunity to show new work by emerging artists as well as well known ones.

Call For Artists for 2023

Zimmer Stewart are now working with King Edward VII's Hospital on the next stage in their support for art in the hospital and emerging artists.

Full details can be found here.

Participating Artists in 2022

The first six artists to have their art hung in the new Medical Centre from February 2022 are:

In the spirit of showcasing the works and promoting these artists, all works are for sale.

For more information on this, please Contact the Zimmer Stewart Gallery or see the individual artist pages linked below, or simply go to our Artists page and view them all.

Karolina Albricht

Bone Marrow, oil on canvas, 86 x 71 cm
Bone Marrow, oil on canvas, 86 x 71 cm

Karolina Albricht is a London based artist and curator. Painting, to her, is an attempt to generate an active space, an environment which can be perceived and responded to through our intellectual and physical faculties, through the sum of our senses.

Karolina Albricht graduated with an MA from The Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in 2008. Prior to that she completed Socrates-Erasmus at ArtEZ Institute of Fine Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands in 2007.

In 2020 she finished Turps Studio Programme in London.

Karolina Albricht's recent exhibitions include Generous Space at Hastings Contemporary (Hastings), 21 Fathoms at ASC Gallery (London), OFF-BEAT, a solo show at JGM Gallery (London), Dear Painting at Nordic Art Agency (Malmo). Her awards include Tyson Award, ArtGemini Award, she was shortlisted for Contemporary British Painting Prize, RA Summer Exhibition, Threadneedle Prize and APT & Fenton Arts Trust Award, amongst others.

Tom Farthing

East Street (Fruit Stall), oil on canvas, 140 x 160 cm
East Street (Fruit Stall), oil on canvas, 140 x 160 cm

Tom Farthing gained his MA in 2013 from Chelsea College of Art, and his BA in 2005 from the Ruskin School, Oxford University. During 2017 Tom Farthing was artist in residence at NES in Iceland, where he made drawings, watercolours and oil paintings from the landscape in and around Skagaströnd. He developed more work from his research on his return to London.

Inspired by artists such as Alex Katz, Tom Farthing re-imagines figurative painting in a contemporary context.

Farthing's subjects are concerned with memory and presenting familiar scenes that we can all relate to, evoking a specific and personal response from the viewer based on their own experience.

Tom Farthing says "My work is engaged with painting the past at the same time as imagining a way forward for painting amongst the fast paced digital image saturated contemporary world".

Andrew Hardy

Paris, oil on canvas, 130 x 150 cm
Paris, oil on canvas, 130 x 150 cm

Andrew Hardy is a painter who grew up in Derbyshire and now lives and works in London. Following a long career as a creative director, he now devotes himself full-time to painting.

In 2019 he graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with a BA (Hons) Painting (1st Class). During 2020 he had a studio at Turps Art School, London which provides an alternative educational environment at master's degree level for postgraduate painters. His association with Turps Art School continues.

Andrew paints in an abstract language, using abstraction to explore materiality, repetition, gesture and chance. When painting, he is occupied with the physicality of the process, connecting with his materials, tools and surfaces in different ways. The process is a form of performance. It is about the act of painting and he sees each finished work as a record of the journey he has been on with it. The question of content is not in the foreground. The paintings are their own subject matter.

The artist says of his work, " I try to make paintings that draw viewers in, to question and enjoy their materiality. I don’t feel any urge to depict things or tell stories or make statements. I don’t feel a need to paint scenes, situations or likenesses of people, or to be referential whether literal, stylised, imagined or metaphorical. The works don’t usually have any meaning although I do aim for them to be meaningful… which is a different thing.”

Andrew Hardy has exhibited in London and Paris and his paintings can be found in private collections in Europe and the US.

Amanda Houchen

Looping, oil on canvas, 80 x 75 cm
Looping, oil on canvas, 80 x 75 cm

Amanda Houchen has a Masters in Fine Art from City and Guilds School for Art and has recently completed the onsite course at Turps and Banana.

Her recent paintings tap into a sense of otherness; worlds within worlds, mirroring and yet upsetting what is outside. She’s keen to create spaces that can't easily be put into context, exploring settings that convey a sense of artifice; mysterious, disorientating, and kaleidoscopic.

Through the use of vivid, illuminating colour, shape and pattern, She confronts the viewer with the ambiguous; creating a sense of tension by playing with surface, texture, light and dark.

Amanda Houchen is interested in exploring the possibilities and limitations of paint - how applying it in particular ways can create a sense of dislocation, calling into question certain fundamental concepts such as space, time and identity.

She has exhibited at The Affordable Art Fair and The London Art Fair, as well as group exhibitions including The Ingram Collection Young Contemporary Talent Purchase Prize and Exceptional, Collyer Bristow. She has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Threadneedle and John Moores.

Lucy Ralph

The Sound of Waves, oil and acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130 cm
The Sound of Waves, oil and acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130 cm

Lucy Ralph considers her work as hard to place: To those who would like to put her definitively in the pictorial register, she retorts that her gesture is more performative and sculptural than they think. To those who classify her above all as an abstract painter, she replies that she never ceases to represent the body, from every angle.

Where some perceive violence, she objects that she is in search of reparation.

And if you want to concentrate first on the peaceful colours she uses, the pastel pinks, the soft blues, the yellows tempted by grey, you'd better not be fooled: under the pictorial layer, the different layers show through like the experiences that Lucy Ralph has lived without wanting to eradicate them.

She works with oil paint, manipulating it with paint brushes, fingernails, screwdrivers and sometimes even embroidering it. She scratches, erases, rubs and brushes, often hiding fragments of poems or text between several layers. In all her gestures, ambivalence prevails: virulence and aggressiveness rub shoulders with delicacy and care.

Lucy Ralph's work is closely related to the world of hospitals, to the feeling of separation from one’s own body and the need to surrender to the responsibility of others, felt after various operations and medical interventions. But her painting is not the sole expression of the vulnerability of a body that proves to be unreliable; far from it, she also

makes us see the body as genuine armour.

Mengxi Zhang

Untitled, oil on linen, 100 x 120 cm
Untitled, oil on linen, 100 x 120 cm

Mengxi Zhang is an artist living and working in London, UK. She graduated from BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2012 and recently finished the Turps Studio Programme (2019-2021).

Recently her work has been shown at Tabula Rasa Gallery in ArtShenzhen and both Part One and Part Two of the exhibition Dreamlands at OHSH Projects in London.

Her practice uses painting to explore themes around the body and the psychic states we occupy. Her process lets the unknown unfold through experimentation and improvisation.

Zhang's paintings are open, unassuming, restless and energetic combined with awkwardness and ambiguity. The body is represented as how it feels to inhabit. The boundary between the interior and the exterior is blurred, the painting surface becomes skin, the body becomes landscape.

Mengxi Zhang’s experimental approach to mark making and colours is a visual translation of her experiences and perception of the world. The way she paints is fuelled by the tension between the contrasting pairings of transparency and opacity, control and impulse, order and chaos. Her work travels through the dialogue of bodily senses employing her own painting language that explores subjectivity and freedom outside of the patriarchal narrative.


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