Thursday 09 February 2017


Internship Experience at Art in Healthcare

Thank you to Alice Coulson for guest blogging about her experiences of working with Art in Healthcare as an intern from the University of Edinburgh.

Alice cleaning and restoring work from the Art in Healthcare collection

The aim of my role as an intern is to check and update information on artists from our collection, involving research and communication with the artists to obtain up to date information on their work or current practice, or both, which is then presented on our website. This information also contributes to the labels we produce to sit alongside the work of art when it is installed. As a student studying for my MSc in History of art, theory and display, much of my writing has been focused towards an academic audience, so it has been a great opportunity and challenge to learn how to tailor this to appeal to a different audience and for a completely different purpose.

I have been an intern at Art in Healthcare since October 2016. The charity houses a collection of over 1,600 works of art, which are made available for loan to healthcare providers across Scotland. The collection includes different media – drawings, oil paintings, watercolours, printmaking and mixed media – in various sizes. All of these artworks feature in an online gallery, alongside information about the work, as well as the artist’s life, career and achievements. The aim of Art in Healthcare is to share this collection with medical environments across Scotland to improve the healthcare experience of patients, staff and visitors; the online collection is usually the first point of call for anyone interested in seeing or acquiring artwork from the collection.

It was great to represent Art in Healthcare as a volunteer at Edinburgh Art Fair, which ran over the weekend of the 18th-20th November at Edinburgh Corn Exchange. As a charity we held a series of free artist talks and demonstrations: Sara Beevers introduced the technique of monoprinting using water based inks and body weight to print unique designs, Olivia Irvine demonstrated egg tempera painting, Jenny Smith led participants through a series of fun drawing exercises using objects from the natural world, while Ann Oram demonstrated the techniques behind her beautiful creations of flowers and field edges, to name a few! It was also really exciting to work alongside Leo du Feu who led the children’s workshops, which attracted a lot of keen young artists who made fantastic, colourful collages inspired by nature. The whole weekend was a huge success and raised a lot of awareness for Art in Healthcare.

With the new year, while still busy researching and producing information for our collection, much of my time has also been spent in the store room. Here, I have been restoring and cleaning works which need a little bit of ‘TLC’ and those which are about to leave us to be installed into a healthcare facility, or have just been returned. I look forward to my next few months at Art in Healthcare.


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Since 1991 our charity has been assembling one of the largest and most prestigious Collections of original Scottish art in the country. These artworks are uniquely available for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings.


Art in Healthcare is truly committed to the important role that art plays in the healing environment but we need your help to properly maintain and build this unique Collection for the enjoyment and benefit of the hundreds of thousands of staff, patients and visitors who view it each year.


With your help we're able to:


Keep our Collection on display in hospitals and care homes
Support young artists at their degree shows
Buy artwork from professional artists
Provide fun-filled art workshops for patients and care home residents
Develop our training programmes for volunteers


Adopt an artwork from our Collection for just £3 a month and you'll receive:


Your name (or a loved one's) written next to your chosen artwork online
A certificate of adoption with a picture of the artwork
Invites to Art in Healthcare's special events
First to view our latest Prestigious Print
Our colourful e-newsletter


"My patients really enjoy looking at our collection. Sometimes they even do an 'art tour' around the premises." ~ Barron Dental Practice


You can adopt an artwork in the gallery, if it hasn't already been adopted, by clicking the 'Adopt Me' button below the picture of the artwork.