National Patient Storytelling - Art Commish

Published: 10 August 2020

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust are looking for three local visual artists to help creatively illustrate a local story about friendship and compassion as part of a wider NHS England oral histories archive cultural project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you are a painter, sculptor, draughtsperson, crafter, printmaker, embroiderer… whatever your discipline, we would like to hear from you. Each successful artist will be commissioned to produce one single illustrative image based on an existing service user story, which will then be ‘stitched’ with the other artworks to create a narrated film that will be showcased regionally and nationally.

Closing Date
5pm Sunday 6th September 2020

Three artists with different visual styles will be commissioned to each produce a single image that illustrates a ‘scene’ within a positive story that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a NHS storytelling project unfolding across Britain which looks to creatively capture experiences relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories will be brought together in a special nationwide film that captures this important time in both NHS and social history. The Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is working alongside a number of teams and service users to capture such stories. The pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for many of us, but as a Trust we wanted to highlight the little rays of positivity that have shone through such an unprecedented period of darkness.

One of these stories comes from the Trust’s chaplaincy; a meaningful connection between the Trust Chaplain and a congregation member was enabled by a spiritual service moving online as a result of the pandemic. This is the story that will be illustrated by the commissioned artists and edited together into a narrated film.

What do I need to do to express my interest in this project?
We will be basing decisions off your portfolio; we will assume that what you choose to share with us will demonstrate what styles and processes you intend to bring to this project. You can express an interest via CuratorSpace or emailing the Patient Experience Team at: with:

  • your name
  • a link to your art website (or up to ten photos of your work)
  • an updated Artist CV (if you have one)
  • first line of your address and your postcode
  • a very brief overview of how you might approach this commission (such as what materials)
  • where you found out about this opportunity
  • any access requirements or other information you’d like us to know about

Who is eligible?
We are keen to support local artists, so you must live within the service area of the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. You must live in a Hull, East Riding, Scarborough, Ryedale or Whitby and District postcode.

Is there an artists fee?
We will be offering £100 per successful artist to contribute towards materials and time spent.

Do I have to pay to participate or submit?
It does not cost anything to submit your portfolio or participate.

Is this project face-to-face?
No, this project can be done remotely at home.

How do you decide which artists be selected?
All expressions of interest will first go through our Creative Director (a local artist working within the Trust) who will check for quality and project suitability. A panel of service users and staff supporting the project will then productively work through the submissions to choose the three artists, and what part of the story their style would best illustrate. We will be picking artists who work differently from each other and who we feel confident will be able to deliver on this commission.

How will I know if I am successful?
We will email you if you are successful. We will endeavour to contact applicants regardless of the outcome but if you do not hear from us assume that you have not been successful. We will not be able to offer individual feedback about why a submission was unsuccessful.

What happens if I am chosen?
We will share with you the complete brief – this will explain the overall vision of the video in more detail, which scene you will be illustrating and other direction (i.e. character design, palette considerations, technical instructions). You will be asked to explain in more detail how you intend to approach the commission and will be able to bounce creative ideas off the Creative Director.

What publicity will be available for me as an artist?
Your name, alongside your website if applicable, will be credited at the end of the video. We will be sharing the video on social media where we will also name and thank the artists involved. You are welcome to document the ‘making of’ your scene (through photographs or videos) as extra content which could be shared online – we can offer some ideas if you decide to do this.

We also understand some individuals would prefer to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. Be assured that this will not affect the outcome of our decision.

I have additional access needs – how will I be supported?
Let us know of any access requirements you may have or anticipate – we will do everything we can to meet your needs.

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