Art in care settings: an itinerant project to spread artistic expressions in hospitals

Proposing the concrete experience of beauty in hospitals means not to focus on the exteriority of things, but to concentrate on the energy that this experience generates in people and in relationships surrounding them.

Spreading the artistic experience in care settings helps to promote well-being for all the actors involved: a new form of education in sensitivity, creativity, self-awareness and self-acceptance emerges thanks to this experience. Inviting healthcare professionals and patients to express themselves through art means fostering a form of creative thinking and competence, and allows a capacity for renewal, a decentralisation of the gaze, a propensity for curiosity, and an aptitude for searching for the unusual.

The project Art in care settings was born with the aim of spreading, in an itinerant way, artistic expressions in the hospitals of different Italian cities, employing students’ artistic skills or promoting art-therapy practices with people with disabilities within social enterprises.

The initiative started from the DNA working group, constituted by nurses from all over Italy and led by the ISTUD Foundation Healthcare Area, under the patronage of FAIS (Italian Federation of Incontinent and Ostomy Associations) and with the unconditional support of Hollister with the Dansac brand.

Art in care settings was presented in Bologna. The inauguration took place on November 8, at the Department of General Surgery of the Maggiore Hospital, where were exposed the paintings made by the members of the L’Arche Centre, a social enterprise proposing a model of family life among people with different forms of mental disability and people without disabilities. Seven tables constitute the paintings – made with acrylic on canvas under the supervision of the painter Rita Mangano – representing the colours of the rainbow, symbol of the L’Arche Centre, each with a message written by the community members and addressed to patients. To conclude, two paintings made by Mangano on the recommendation of the members: a message of positivity addressed to those who live with a ostomy, accompanied by a vase of flowers animated by the thrust of the butterflies that represent the life blossoming from change.

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Luigi Reale

Degree in Political Science, Master in Health Management at SDA Bocconi in Milan. He developed research project, training and consultancy in healthcare organizations. He is professor of organization and health politics. In recent years he focused his interest on sustainability and personalization of care through the narrative approach. He has authored various project research, articles and essays on these topics. He is Director of the Health Area of the ISTUD Foundation, member of the Board of the Italian Society of Narrative Medicine.

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