Art in the Real World: From the Hospital Ward to the Tate
From their rural base in Narrandera NSW, the Australian arts organisation, the Cad Factory are delivering major outcomes overseas including a presentation at the National Gallery of Lithuania, a keynote presentation at the International Culture, Health and Wellbeing conference in Bristol UK, a presentation at the Sound and the Environment conference in Hull UK and a residency at Tate Liverpool UK.
This overseas activity stems from their project The Harmonic Oscillator, that has been running for the last three years, with regular trips to the UK to work with Clive Parkinson from Manchester Metropolitan University and Vicky Charnock from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The Harmonic Oscillator aims to undertake an artist led exploration of the effects of noise levels in our hospital spaces. Hospitals have surprisingly high levels of noise that can often prolong healing due to their disturbing characteristics on patients. The process of placing a contemporary artist in the life and death environment of a children’s hospital has been an experiment in exploring how an artist can reduce trauma in hospitals.
From Sunday 25 June to Saturday 1 July, some of the artworks borne from this experiment, will be part of the Tate Liverpool Residency Exchange Program.
Since 2016, Tate Liverpool has been running a program where they invite artists and organisations into the gallery to share experimental work in progress that is engaging with the real world. The Harmonic Oscillator suits the aims of the Exchange Program perfectly. Vic McEwan from the Cad Factory will transform the gallery space into a living studio, with new works being presented and in development.
Mr McEwan says, “This project is an opportunity to create a wide range of outcomes, including an exhibition of new work, a radio documentary, a book, original research that looks at the negative effects that the high levels of noise can have in our hospital spaces and an app for delivery in hospitals internationally. It is also a great example of an international collaboration from a small remote town in regional Australia, to Liverpool, UK and beyond.
During their time at Tate Liverpool, Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University will be holding a forum on Thursday 29 June from 1pm to 3:30pm, called Critical Care. Mr Parkinson explains, “This is a real opportunity for people interested in the way that contemporary artists work in health care settings, to learn first-hand from the artist and their work. Vic’s been here not as an art therapist, or as an artist building a piece of public art work, but rather as an impartial visitor, who has had some remarkable moments in this vibrant children’s hospital, and produced a series of work in response to his time there.”
Ms Charnock, Arts Coordinator from Alder Hey Children’s hospital commented that, “It's been a privilege for Alder hey to host this exciting series of residencies by Vic McEwan. His highly innovative and sensitive approach to working within the hospital has highlighted areas of huge importance to us, namely how sound levels can impact on the health and wellbeing of our patients, families and staff.”
The Harmonic Oscillator commenced in 2015 when Vic McEwan was awarded the inaugural Create NSW Regional Fellowship. The project has continued thanks to funding from Catalyst, now managed by The Australia Council for the Arts.
The Harmonic Oscillator
Tate Liverpool Exchange Program
Sunday 25 June – Saturday 1 July, 10am – 6pm
Critical Care Forum at Tate Liverpool
Thursday 29 June, 1pm – 3:30pm
For more information contact: Vic McEwan on +44 7377026877 or firstname.lastname@example.org