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Arts, Health & Well-being

2nd Year BA (Hons) Embroidery Students at MMU have been involved in an enterprising project as part of a collaborative venture with Arts for Health and Derbyshire Community Health Services. Students were invited to respond to a brief as part of their Exploring Contemporary Projects unit.

The unit is based around a site-specific theme with an aim to produce two comprehensive A2 design boards that present ideas clearly and concisely, as you would to real clients in a competitive market indicating size and materials involved.

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Derbyshire Community Health Services is responsible for community hospitals, clinics and GP practices across Derbyshire. Many of these buildings are cramped, old fashioned and uninspiring. We believe that considered space that is well-designed, fit for purpose and responsive to local perspectives, will have an impact on patient experiences. Inclusion of appropriate pieces of artwork considerably improves this dynamic; evidence suggests it can reduce anxiety and engender pride for those working in that space. Derbyshire Community Health Services is also responsible for promoting health messages to the community. These health messages vary from responsible drinking and safe sex, to mental health and cancer screening. Increasingly the arts are being used as a vehicle for communicating messages, stimulating debate and motivating change.

The Project

Students were invited to create a piece of work that responds to the health settings and public health messages. They were asked to design a piece of work that gives a health-promoting message which can be purely visual, or interactive.

The Results

Of the nine students who submitted proposals for this unit, four students were further commissioned by Derbyshire Community Health Services to work up their designs for exhibition in health settings around Derbyshire. Examples of these commissions can be seen below.