(Blogpost) A Picture of Health: Celebrating Key Workers at Swindon’s Vaccination Centre

Howard Hodgkin, Gramophone, 1964-66, Oil on canvas, ©Estate of Howard Hodgkin

In 1871, the Great Western Railway Hospital in Swindon welcomed their first patient. 150 years later in 2020 and 2021, STEAM Museum welcomed doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and volunteers vaccinating patients against COVID19. As we all know, they’ve been working extremely hard to keep us safe, helping us slowly return to a sense of normality. We couldn’t possibly thank them enough for their hard work during this tough time, but a little infusion of art into their daily routine might make a start!

So, Art on Tour has curated a display of artworks within the break-out space used by the staff and volunteers at the Vaccination Centre. A Picture of Health (supported by sponsorship from Pebley Beach) presents sixteen facsimiles of artworks from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, which explore health and well-being through themes such as creativity, nature fresh air and exercise.

These include Gramophone by Howard Hodgkin, a vibrant response to listening to music with friends, and Nude with Poppies by Vanessa Ball, an image of rest and relaxation. There are also local scenes, which remind us of the value of nature and local exploration. George Reason’s Polluted Lake is inspired by one of Swindon’s iconic landmarks, whilst F.W. Salvage’s depiction of Coate Water recreates the beauty of a treasured local green space.

F.W. Salvage, A View of Coate Water, Undated (Presented 1970), Oil on canvas, ©F.W. Salvage

We like to think there’s something for everyone, and we hope that providing a positive and enriching space for staff and volunteers to enjoy during their breaks can contribute to their well-being, whilst they look after the well-being of the people of Swindon.

“But, can I view this exhibition?” we hear you ask! Thanks to Art UK’s Curation tool, we are also able to make a digital version of the exhibition available, complete with interpretation for each artwork. You can visit by clicking right here, and get your very own dose of art appreciation!

Plus, if you want to hear even more about some of the artworks on show, you can listen to Episode 30 of Art Snaps, New Year New Me. This ten-minute talk (which was released back in January, hence the title!) explores Tennis by Vicente Do Rego Monteiro, The Chinese Bowl by Ivon Hitchens and Apples II by Sir Lawrence Gowing, all of which feature in A Picture of Health.

Vicente Do Rego Monteiro, Tennis, 1928, Oil on canvas, ©Estate of Vicente Do Rego Monteiro

We hope that soon we’ll be able to deliver some exciting work in person, but for now we hope you enjoy some of this digital content inspired by Swindon’s art collection. Stay safe, stay well, stay positive!

Katie and Mags (Art on Tour)

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