We are working with arts and mental health groups to create a menu of 'slow media' pieces for patients to access through iPads at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
The soundscapes of hospitals are a colossal disjuncture from the comforting and familiar surroundings of everyday life. The sounds of monitors and machines, fellow patients, unfamiliar medical terms, the activities of clinical staff and the absence of familiar routines and diurnal rhythms, makes the environment quite alien. In addressing this, the project aims to anchor patients in the familiarity of local scenes and everyday sounds embedded within slow film and music.
Hospital in-patients can also experience a lack of personal control over their environment and their own bodies. In exercising choice over their listening and viewing, patients gain greater agency over their environment, supporting wellbeing.
The slow media pieces will be created as art therapy by local mental health support groups and by secondary school pupils, guided by experienced community artists. Organisations backing the project include the ICU at Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, ‘Open Mind’ creative multimedia project for people recovering from mental ill-health, Prospect Park NHS Hospital (mental health in-patients), The Engine Room arts and mental health group. The project will also be working with local established and emerging artists and a volunteer intern from Oxford Brookes Fine Art department to develop slow media work.