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About us

Renal - website

Participation Arts

Art in the Cancer Care Centre

The Arts Team work with freelance artists to provide regular art sessions in York Hospital’s Cancer Care Centre.  The sessions are for anyone affected by cancer – patients, carers, family and friends and run between 1pm – 4pm on Tuesday afternoons.

People are invited to drop-in to enjoy an afternoon of creativity and companionship. Sessions are generously funded by York Against Cancer and York Teaching Hospital Charity and are offered to participants free of charge, with no need to book. 

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Mim Robson

Cancer Care Centre 

Freelance artist, Mim Robson, joined the team to provide arts sessions in the Cancer Care Centre between November 2017 – January 2018. 

Mim - CCC - website

Mim is an artist and crafts-person specialising in ephemeral work including land art, sand art, natural materials and nature crafts.  She works with dark room and alternative photography techniques, traditional and heritage arts and crafts, henna tattooing and is an experienced art, craft and creative expressive workshop facilitator. 


 Van Nong

Renal Units

Van Nong joined the Arts Team as the Renal Artist between 2013 and 2017.

Renal - Van

Van has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of art in the community, creating small scale public artworks as well as large scale regeneration schemes to enhance the physical and the social environment.  He works with community groups of all ages and abilities, making art accessible through engaging people in creative art workshops. Most of the time, there is a piece of artwork at the end, but the process of creating it is just as rewarding.


Anne Hutchison

Cancer Care Centre

Anne Hutchison joined us as the Cancer Care Centre and ward 16 Artist for many years, helping patients to relax and take their mind off things through varied arts and crafts activities. 

Anne - CCC - website

Anne is an experienced York based artist and teacher, working in a range of media. York Hospital is adorned with artwork made by those working with Anne over the years.

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Urban Buzz Planters

The Arts Team have joined forces with Urban Buzz and River of Flowers to improve one of York Hospital's garden spaces for users of the Renal Unit.

Renal planters for web

Urban Buzz creates habitat for insect pollinators to increase their diversity and population numbers.  River of Flowers works in partnership to create trails or ‘rivers’ of wildflower forage in cities to feed the pollinators that feed us. In their Grow Your Own Health Project, they are working with patients and staff to plant healing gardens for people and pollinators.

Artist, Van Nong, worked alongside Urban Buzz, River of Flowers and our Estates Team to plan and maintain the garden with input from patients and staff. 

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Handmade Signage Installed

Patients in York Hospital’s Renal Unit have been busy creating new signage for the entrance to the unit.   Artist, Van Nong, worked with dialysis patients to design this hand-painted sign.




Evaluation Film by Students from the University of York

The Arts Team linked with students from the University of York this summer to create a short evaluative film about participation arts in York Hospital’s Renal Unit.  Students wrote blog posts throughout the process.  To read them click here.

Portakabin Keys Artwork

Artist, Anne Hutchison, used hundreds of keys to devise an arts project for participants in the Cancer Care Centre.  The keys have been made into a beautiful tree, now framed and installed within the centre.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Portakabin for the keys and the £150 donation towards the project.

Crochet in the Cancer Care Centre

Anne Hutchison has been busy teaching crochet to participants in the Cancer Care Centre's weekly art sessions.

Photo credit: Elly Ross

Chinese New Year Cockerel by the Cancer Care Centre

Anne Hutchison's creative sessions took a Chinese theme as she led an exciting project in celebration of Chinese New Year 2017  - the year of the Cockerel.

Participants thoroughly enjoyed working in collage and sculpture to create these vibrant cockerels which will be displayed on York Hospital’s main corridor throughout January 2017.

If you’ve been affected by cancer and would like to get involved in Anne’s art sessions in the Cancer Care Centre, please pop along or contact the Arts Team for further information.



Tactile Artwork in the Renal Unit

Janet Woolley (pictured) is a renal patient who works with artist, Van Nong, to create artwork whilst on dialysis.

Van creates 3D tactile art projects for Janet. She’s blind and therefore much of the enjoyment comes through the process of creating the artwork.  This piece is made from air-dry clay and wire which has been shaped and dipped in acrylic.

Van’s work in the Renal Unit is funded by York Teaching Hospital Charity.  If you’d like to fundraise with them to help this work to continue, please click here to get in touch.

Laura Camplejohn joins Van Nong on the Renal Unit

Laura Camplejohn is a 2nd Year Fine Art student at York St. John University.  As part of her degree Laura is undertaking a placement working with Van Nong on York Hospital’s Renal Unit.

Above:  Laura doing sculpture work as part of her degree.

“I have chosen this placement as it provides me with a fantastic opportunity to experience a new type of creative role. This placement stood out for me because I can make a difference in patients’ lives by occupying and helping them to engage with art. I have been surrounded by art my whole life and would love to create a positive impact on patients in need of physical stimulation by sharing my passion. In helping Van Nong with this, I hope not only to help the patients but also broaden my artistic contribution to the world and gain a larger insight into my potential career path.”


Rosie Carr volunteers in York’s Renal Unit

During her third year at York St John University Rosie Carr volunteered as an art worker, assisting Van Nong in his art sessions with patients in York Hospital’s Renal Unit. Van and Rosie worked together to install a 3D exhibition of animal sculptures on our main corridor, all lovingly made by our amazingly talented Renal patients!

Angela Connor joins the Ward 37 Team on art therapy placement

During her final year at Leeds Metropolitan University, Angela Connor, a mature Art Therapy student, joined Ward 37 to bring art therapy to patients.

Mandy Rosier, Senior Sister on Ward 37 at the time, was delighted to have Angela working with her team: 

“I am really looking forward to having Angela on the ward over the next few months. She has only been here for a couple of weeks and the patients are already engaging so well and seem to be enjoying the experience. It’s lovely that we have the opportunity to have art therapy on Ward 37 and it will be very interesting to see the completed pieces”.

Angela Connor explains her role as an Art Therapist:

“Throughout my day on the ward I greet everyone and take a read on who is receptive to my approach. I then build on the initial interaction using art materials to encourage the clients to express themselves in art while all the time engaging in an Interactive dialogue.”


Painting in the Renal Unit

Prior to Van’s time in our Renal units, artist, Anne Hutchison undertook the role.  Anne conducted several art projects with patients, encouraging them to open their imagination and take their work in a direction of their own choosing. This process often culminated in exhibitions, both in high impact areas and along the corridor leading to the Renal Unit so that patients could proudly view their work on their way to dialysis.


Mosaic Trees

In 2012 artist Lesley Seeger worked on the Renal Unit as the Arts Development Officer.  Lesley worked with patients to create our beautiful mosaic trees, now very popular in the main waiting area of York Hospital. 

Each tree, full of birds, flowers and leaves was cut into small pieces for the patients to work on. The individual pieces of patient mosaic were then brought together in the final design.

The pieces of tile used in the mosaic come from a variety of sources, from tiles donated by staff and patients to old china and crockery found in charity shops.

"Doing the art work you completely forget sometimes that you are on the machine. You get quite engrossed"

"We're not just doing something individual. It's part of a have a little union between you."
Quotes from patients participating in the project


Celebrating Remembrance Day

To celebrate Remembrance Day in 2011 The Arts Team organised a programme of live music and a participatory art session with artist, Lesley Seeger.

Anyone and everyone were invited to take part in the art session where a memorial collage was created in the main entrance. Patients, visitors and staff contributed to the piece, creating a colourful field of poppies with lines from 'Flanders Fields,' by John McCrae embedded in it.

The picture is now in situated in the family room of the Mortuary, brightening up the space and linking in with the theme of remembering lost loved ones.

The live music on the day was provided by a barber shop quartet from York St John University and the extremely talented Kieran White who played piano in the foyer.

Cityscape Print Project on Ward 16

Patients and staff on Ward 16 created printed elements of an imaginary historic city, working in the Enhanced Recovery Suite on Ward 16 with Anne Hutchison.

Contributors were duly honoured by having a street or building named after them on the signposts dotted around the piece. This piece of work represents many hours spent by lots of patients passing through the ward and has provided a little creativity to help aid their recovery process - very much enjoyed and appreciated by most participants.

Collaborative Project with York Quilting Museum

In February 2011, patients in the Renal Unit were involved in a rewarding textile project with the Quilt Museum entitled 'Homes and Gardens'.

This collaborative project was co-led by Sally Sculthorpe, Education Officer at the Quilt Museum and Lesley Seeger, Arts Development Worker for York Hospital Trust.


Buttons and Feathers Project

In February 2009, Artist Lesley Seeger worked with colorectal patients on a twenty-four week collage project. The medium of collage was chose due to the fact that it is relatively easy to contain and usually less messy than painting or mosaic making. The aim of the project was to get patients up and moving after surgery and to improve the quality of their patient care and experience.


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