Welcome to our new artist in residence

Photo: Artist in residence, Helen Snell
Artist in residence, Helen Snell

Published: 19 October 2022

Helen Snell has joined Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT) as an artist in residence, working on a range of arts activities to enhance the wellbeing of staff.

The 18-month residency project, which has been funded by NHS Charities Together – Arts in Recovery Funds, will see Helen collaborate with a number of teams to help enhance work areas by creating temporary and permanent artworks and installations.

Helen says of the residency: “I am delighted to be starting in my role as artist in residence at the Trust. I feel very humbled and galvanised to be given such an extraordinary opportunity to work alongside NHS, particularly at such a challenging time.

“Working in partnership with staff, I hope to develop strategies that capture experiences, and reimagine and reconfigure the spaces where they have a bit of downtime and are able to talk freely to colleagues and decompress.

“I hope I can support and channel their ideas so that we become co-creators and collaborators, so that together we can make all staff feel valued and visible. Ultimately, we can start to reimagine how health care, from hospital settings to care in the community, is perceived and experienced by staff, patients and visitors alike.

“I have already visited the Pharmacy and Radiology teams at Torbay Hospital and am talking to staff around the site, and I plan to visit community settings in the near future including the hospitals and health care hubs.”

Tony George, Radiologist, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I have had the pleasure of having Helen with me on a few occasions. It has been eye opening to see how she captures our work behind the scenes. I very much look forward to seeing what pieces of art Helen creates to embody the work ethos in the Radiology department.”

Helen’s background is in digital art, laser cutting and printmaking and she has worked as an artist and researcher in the heritage, museum, and education sectors. She recently completed a two-year residency with the University of Exeter on a national research project, as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response initiative to COVID-19.

An integral part of Helen’s work is addressing issues of social injustice, inclusion and exclusion, inequity, identity, truth telling and democracy, and focusing on the relationship between groups and the individual.

You can find out more about Helen’s work at https://www.axisweb.org/p/helensnell/


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