Art scheme for new hospital appeals for support

A �50,000 project aimed at putting art into Cromer's new hospital has been launched with an appeal to local people and businesses.

The scheme at the �15m new hospital, where work has recently got under way, will be a tonic for patients but could also help visitors find their way around the complex.

A series of new sea, sky and land-themed artworks will be commissioned for the hospital, which is due to be completed by autumn 2012.

They will include large-scale constructions in the hospital grounds, as well as photography, paintings and smaller sculpture in waiting areas and a sea-themed mural on a wall outside the refurbished Barclay and Davison wards.

New work depicting north Norfolk's coast and countryside will be displayed alongside pieces reflecting the area's history, including a recently restored portrait of Lady Battersea, which hung in the old hospital.

The scheme was the idea of Emma Jarvis, who is arts co-ordinator at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where a similar project begun in the late 1980s has reaped positive results for staff, patients and visitors.

'We have found that art can provide a whole range of benefits, from allowing people to relate to their surroundings and helping them find their way around, to helping alleviate the fear some patients may feel when visiting hospitals and making people feel calmer and more comfortable, which can reduce stress levels and treatment times,' she explained.

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Funded entirely by grants and donations, the Cromer scheme would have a very local feel with north Norfolk-based artists, businesses and community groups encouraged to become involved.

Miss Jarvis added: 'At Cromer, we want to personalise the hospital environment by combining work echoing the hospital's heritage with pieces that complement the modern architecture and reflect the natural and unique beauty of North Norfolk.'

She has teamed up with local visual art business North Norfolk Artspace, which will be hosting a fund-raising exhibition next spring, and with Cromer's Pavilion Theatre, where popular Norfolk entertainer Olly Day has taken on the job of organising a charity variety show due to be staged on March 19, 2011.

Other fundraising ideas include a 'sponsor a tile' scheme, whereby local art galleries would have a chance to have their business's name incorporated into a ceramic artwork on one of the hospital's walls.

Norfolk writer, broadcaster and raconteur Keith Skipper, who has been signed up to appear at next year's variety concert, was keen to get involved in the project after seeing the artwork on display at Norwich.

'I'm a very bad visitor to hospitals,' he said. 'And I'm all for anything that can help soothe the nerves and have a calming influence when you are there for what might be quite serious reasons.'

?To make a donation, or to find out how to get involved with Cromer Hospital Arts Scheme, email: or phone 01603 287870. For more information about the scheme, visit or