14th March 2023

New Held in Hope Exhibition at St. Mary’s Hospital

A new exhibition exploring the impact of the pandemic on hospitals and communities is now on display at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Held in Hope showcases the work of six artists and reflects on their personal feelings, as well as the way Covid-19 has shaped society.

Installed across St. Mary’s, Charing Cross and  Hammersmith hospitals, the displays utilise a range of mediums, including photography, watercolour and drawings.

One of the artists is Hannah Grace Deller, a Paediatric Matron who had previously worked as a photographer and used her skills to document life on the Trust’s Covid wards. Her images give a rare insight into St Mary’s during lockdown and were featured on television, in newspapers and inspired an album celebrating frontline workers.

Deller said: “Photography helps me unwind, and it helps me destress – which was really useful during the pandemic.

“In hindsight, the photos on the wards were almost like therapy for me – taking pictures of the day and making a scrapbook with stories. I wanted to show life from the inside a little bit more and how we were getting on.”

For Thompson Hall, drawing and painting was a way to portray his own perspective as a person with a learning disability navigating daily life during the pandemic. Unable to work in his studio, the drawings featured in the exhibition were made on sketchbooks during lockdown as a way to document his thoughts.

Thompson said: “I took ideas from my own personal experiences, from my childhood for example and added them to the political issues that affect everybody in the world. That’s what made me come up with this body of work, covering everything, not just the pandemic. It was more about what will we face after it is over, and looking at how unequal society will be. How will the pandemic change things?”

Also included are Bindi Vora’s photographic collages, Susie Hamilton’s drawings of life in hospital during lockdown, a poem from Keith Jarrett inspired from his work as our writer in residence, and bespoke silhouette portraits from Aida Silvestri.

Delphine Allier, Art Curator at Imperial Health Charity, said: “As part of one of the largest NHS trusts in the country, staff and patients across our five hospitals have been profoundly affected by the pandemic.

“We’re delighted to bring together such an eclectic mixture of artists to reflect on and examine these last few years. Many of those involved in this project have deep connections to our hospitals or local communities and we’re looking forward to seeing how the exhibition resonates with staff and visitors.”

The concept and design has been developed in partnership with design studio Kellenberger White.  Their expertise in context-specific design and exhibition presentation has shaped the visual language of the displays and given them an identity distinct from the surrounding hospital communications.

The exhibition can be viewed on the second floor of the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary (QEQM) building at St Mary’s Hospital. Click here for a site map of the hospital.