Skip to content
Home > Your Health > Public Health > Health Improvement > Arts and Health

Arts and Health

Art, architecture, design, music and nature all have a positive impact on our health. The NHSGGC arts programmes aim to create safe and welcoming environments and positive experiences for patients, visitors and staff.

The programme is based on growing evidence of the positive psychological, physical and biological effects of arts participation and is inspired by the creative talent of Scotland. All our work is developed in collaboration and supported by arts, education and voluntary sector partners.

See below for details about current exhibitions and upcoming concerts in our hospitals, have a look at cutting-edge design for new healthcare buildings and find out more about arts in medical care.

Email us at if you would like to get involved.

What’s on

We are pleased to announce the reinstatement of our art exhibitions programme, after a near 24-month hiatus. The initial activities will be focused at The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital with the display of a major Creative Scotland funded project, Woven in Govan.

Woven in Govan

Woven in Govan is a presentation of work by seven artists, highlighting the experiences of women careworkers during the Covid-19 pandemic and the historical burden of care placed upon women in society as a whole. More information about the project can be found on the Woven Art website, and on instagram .

The project is part of a major European partnership between Platform TU (Ukraine), Intercult (Sweden), and Fablevision (Scotland).

Current Exhibition: Shout Outs @ Staff Rest and Relaxation Hubs, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Acute Hospitals (From 24 September 2020)

Displayed in the newly opened NHSGGC staff Rest and Relaxation Hubs, Leanne Ross’ Shout Outs offer immediate bursts of joy, reflection and humour for the front line staff, key workers and other NHS employees who use these spaces. 

Made instinctively, Leanne’s work elevates her daily routine by turning mundane everyday activities into bold, energetic and often humorous slogans and phrases. These passionate declarations written large over bold, brightly coloured backgrounds combine a sense of protest with the universal joy of what it is to shout something out loud.

Selected pieces by Leanne have been chosen for display in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Rest and Relaxation Hubs. With frontline staff under extreme pressure throughout the COVID19 pandemic, the NHS have developed a series of new R&R Hubs that are intended to provide care and respite for all staff. Leanne’s fresh, energetic, funny and kind works will enliven these spaces. They will speak directly to staff and hopefully help to put a smile on their faces, before or after they go on their shift.

For those inspired by Leanne’s work, a limited number of blank Shout Outs will be available on which staff can write their own messages. These will be displayed alongside Leanne’s work and can be shared online via the hashtag #ShoutOutNHS

Developed and delivered with support from KMA Dot Com, ArtLink Edinburgh, Laura Aldridge, Lauren Gault and Kendall Koppe. 

View the online gallery

Thanks to Lauren, Leanne, Kendall and of course Leanne

Current Exhibition: Energy is pattern @ QEUH

This exhibition gives patients and visitors at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital the opportunity to appreciate work from mid-20th century and contemporary artists from Glasgow alongside pattern designs from around the world. It aims to highlight the power of colour and pattern over mood and wellbeing.

Current Exhibition: Archaeological Housework @ New Victoria Hospital

Archaeological Housework is a photographic exhibition and courtyard installation at the New Victoria Hospital. It celebrates the creative work of Fiona Gorman –  artist, teacher, home-maker, carer and a person living with dementia.


This exhibition is presented by Art in Healthcare in partnership with Health Improvement and Public Health NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Art in Healthcare provides displays from their large collection of original works of art into healthcare settings across Scotland. Their aim is to transform medical environments into welcoming and engaging spaces for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff. The collection has been developed carefully over more than twenty years, and they strive to represent the best of Scottish Art whilst taking into account the needs of people receiving care in healthcare establishments and medical teams.

To find out more about Art in Healthcare and their collection of artworks please visit their website 

If you would like to support music in NHSGGC hospitals please contact the Health Improvement Team  

Animating Public Spaces

Launched in July 2017, the Animating Public Spaces programme is a new, evidence-based music and arts programme which has been developed in collaboration with arts, education and voluntary sector partners to ensure that all healthcare spaces are safe and welcoming and to celebrate Glasgow’s creative talent. The programme is based on a growing body of research on the positive psychological, physical and biological effects of arts participation and cultural attendance.

Art in the Gart

The Art in the Gart programme provides patient-led art and gardening activities at Gartnavel Royal Hospital. 

Art in the Gart wants to make the best use of the grounds and buildings on site to increase access to meaningful high quality arts activity to support mental health recovery and well being. The programme was launched on 31 August 2012.

Art in the Gart – Our Strategy for Gartnavel Royal Hospital Site 2012 – 2015

Past events and exhibitions

Art in Medical Care

Art in Hospital provides an extensive ongoing programme of visual arts in a variety of healthcare settings in the city of Glasgow and Scotland wide.

Initially practising within long-term care for older people, Art in Hospital has diversified to include those being cared for within rehabilitation and assessment units, those with life-limiting illnesses, young physically disabled, mental health and outpatients, rheumatology patients, renal dialysis patients and those in need of palliative care.

Art in Hospital

Useful Resources
Art in Health

There are a number of creative artist lead projects in Glasgow and Scotland, which aim to demonstrate the positive impact that creative and performing arts can have upon health and wellbeing. These projects work with professional artists and local community organisations using a variety of media including drawing and painting, digital photography, textiles, video, printmaking, music and drama.

Renfrewshire’s The Buddy Beat

Creative Therapies

GalGael – carving out a future

National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing 

Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland (ACHWS)

Music and Health

MacDonald, Raymond AR (2013) Music, health and wellbeing: a review International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health and Wellbeing

Polyphony, Common Wheel 

Health by Design
Social Determinants of Health

Improving health and tackling health inequalities: Actions for all – leaflet, Glasgow Centre for Population Health (2014)

Dodds, Sarah (2016) Social contexts and health, Glasgow Centre for Population Health – report

Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. 2nd edition. (2003) edited by Richard Wilkinson and Michael Marmot 

Voluntary Health Scotland (2016) Loneliness: A threat to Scotland’s Health Briefing Paper

McCann, Alison; Mackie, Phil & Conacher, Ann (2017) Social Isolation & Loneliness: What is the Scope for Public Health Action? Scottish Public Health Network

Evidence Summary for Policy: The Role of Arts in Improving Health and Wellbeing