The Prince and Princess of Wales hospice took its patients on a unique excursion to an art gallery in Australia – without ever leaving Scotland.
The virtual excursions team at Canberra’s National Portrait gallery usually deliver fully-interactive learning programmes and virtual excursions to remote communities Down Under. But now, patients of the Glasgow-based hospice experienced a unique gallery tour from more than 10,500 miles away in the comfort of the art room.
In what’s believed to be a first in a care setting in the UK, the patients received the virtual tour of six specially selected pieces of art from the gallery in the Aussie capital, complete with a curator talking them through each piece via live link.
The hospice art room, where the virtual excursion was held, was founded in 2003 and is currently staffed by three graduate artists. Kirsty Stansfield, who helped deliver the workshop explains how the project has found its way to Glasgow: “My colleague Sharon Goodlet won a Winston Churchill Fellowship Award to look into best practice in art amongst older people. While in Australia, she visited a whole range of different people delivering arts in healthcare services. She visited the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra where she discovered their virtual excursions.
“We’re always looking for new and unique ways of bringing art into the hospice and we saw the opportunity here to do that. People in the hospice aren’t always able to get out to see art, whether that be through illness or disability, or even lack of confidence.”
People saw different things in the work – they realised there were so many ways of reading a painting
The six portraits were chosen by the team behind the art room and the team in Canberra and will be shown one by one to the patients via the virtual gallery, displayed through a green screen in the National Portrait Gallery’s basement.