Full-service and client centric art consultancy based in Europe – working internationally on a variety of different projects.

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Hot news: Art & Health – Get your portion of feel good

How modern healthcare is waking up to the power of Fine Art for hospitals, medical clinics and spas? Travel back in time with us to highlight different concepts of art & health.

Vienna based Otto Wagner’s take on the cleanliness to modern architecture is one find while at almost the same time Lluís Domènech i Montaner regarded the hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona as a total work of art. Art & health: Curious about the positive impact of art on our well-being? Looking for some facts and figures?
“There are two conditions that have to be considered as criteria and which modern mankind demands: The greatest possible comfort and the greatest possible cleanliness.”, claimed Otto Wagner. He heralded a new modern, hygienic metropolitan architecture such as the Steinhof church and the Postal Savings Bank. His ideas were not limited to public buildings demanding green spaces, places for recreation and sports facilities, furthermore he also targeted the hospitality business. Meanwhile in Barcelona, Lluís Domènech i Montaner transformed the hospital Sant Pau to a modern clinic facility, with the ongoing intention of serving people and their health. This hospital is part of the UNESCO World Heritage thanks to its impressive interior decoration, rich architecture and beautifully scattered recreational areas. As we can see, art and health is a very thought through combination.

What are the benefits? As even the WHO states, the artistic expression grew in lockstep with human cultural development and has long played an integral part in how we teach, learn, communicate and heal. Art can help us to emotionally navigate the journey of battling an illness or injury, to process difficult emotions in times of emergency and trauma and even to physically recover quicker – it’s all about holistic well-being. Art reduces and helps with the following:

  • Pain perception
  • Depression
  • Non-surgical treatment times
  • Recovery times after surgery
  • Treatment times for mental illness
  • Abusive behaviour
  • Length of stay
  • Staff turnover and absenteeism
  • Coping with feelings of loneliness
  • Positive impact on families and patients in the waiting area
  • Colour psychology “healing colours”

Photo Courtesy belongs to owner of the images

For us the anthropologic aspect is more than visible. Anyway, what about the hard facts and figures? There lies some difficulty within this question as there are no standardized metrics to cast the advantages in figures. However, we found an example shared by “The Guardian” showcasing a project by “Arts and Minds”, a leading arts and mental health charity. The evaluation revealed striking results: a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety and a 73% fall in depression plus 76% of participants said their well-being increased and 69% felt more socially included.

Just in case a single project is not enough, we came across the “Creative Health: The Short Report” conducted in the United Kingdom and could not believe our eyes when opening the second double page with outstanding figures also money-wise: A mental health recovery center co-designed by service users in Wales is estimated to save the NHS £ 300.000 per year. An arts-on-precreption project has shown significant benefits as a 37% drop in GP consulation rates and a 27% reduction in hospital admissions. This represents a saving of £ 216 per patient. Furthermore, 85% of people in England agree that the quality of the built environment influences the way they feel. Every £ 1 spent on maintaining parks has been seen to generate £ 34 in community benefits.

Photo Courtesy belongs to owner of the images

How do hospitals and health care facilities incorporate art in their institutions? We would like to draw your attention to our newest find: The Cleveland Clinic art collection. To them as one of the world’s greatest medical centers, fine art is good medicine. Their art program was established in 2006 with the mission to enrich, inspire and enliven patients, visitors, employees and community as well as to embody the core values of the institution: collaboration, quality, integrity, compassion and commitment. Art reflects an interest in underlying concepts such as innovation, teamwork and service, which are fundamental cornerstones of the Clinic. “When a patient comes to the hospital, it’s like someone puts a steel curtain between them and the rest of the world,” Iva Fattorini, MD, chair of the Arts & Medicine Institute told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “The moment when you stop focusing on your disease is when the healing starts.”

We highly appreciate this approach and are already looking forward to being able to initiate many healing processes through our future work. Stay tuned!