“Climate change is the greatest global health threat facing
the world in the 21st century – the impacts will be felt all
around the world – and not just in some distant future but in
our lifetimes and those of our children.”
— The Lancet Countdown

Our way of life, including the provision of healthcare, is harming the planetary life support systems that we rely on. Radical change is needed. We will increasingly need to adapt to managing physical and mental illnesses caused by ecological degradation while also reducing our environmental footprint and trying to prevent any further damage.

Does this challenge provide an opportunity to tackle inequalities and build healthier, more resilient communities? Can we address the issues of intergenerational and global injustice that are raised by current levels of consumerism and use of resources? What vision of the future do we hold? Can we find ways of living which protect both the planet and our health?

Our response to this crisis may vary: from measured expressions of hope through to feelings of despair. Art is one way of articulating and processing these feelings and of sharing envisaged solutions.

Artists were invited to submit works on these themes. We received 150 submissions in a wide range of media, including painting, photography, print, sculpture, performance and video. Those considered by the judging panel to be the best works aligning to the theme are presented in the gallery.

Information alert

For further information regarding purchasing an artwork in this exhibition please contact Laura Bradshaw, Assistant Arts Curator: laura.bradshaw7@nhs.net

Canopy of Thoughts - video (Elyssa Sykes-Smith)
Secrets of Soil - video (Henry Driver)

Read more about the exhibited artworks:
Smartify | University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Please note the exhibition space is within the hospital, and access is currently restricted to UCLH staff and patients only.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of online events featuring high profile speakers on topics including Sustainability within the NHS and working with Nature and Art for Health.

Register for these free events: UCLH arts and heritage Events | Eventbrite

Who we are

The Healthcare Arts Collective is a group of healthcare workers who are united by our concerns about the climate and ecological crisis (CEE). We recognise that the CEE provokes a range of emotions; from measured expressions of hope through to feelings of eco-anxiety. Artistic practice is one way of articulating and processing these feelings. We decided to run this exhibition in the hope of providing others an opportunity to reflect, create and share solutions. We hope it will provide catharsis for participants as well as demonstrating the role of creativity in responding to the crisis.

UCLH Arts and Heritage serves UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and its surrounding community and is funded entirely by charitable donations. The UCLH Arts and Heritage programme is committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff. Its work aims to improve the patient experience, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage and community.