How should a mental health hospital look and feel? It was a question Hospital Rooms, an arts and mental health charity asked the young people using Bluebird House, a ‘hospital’ for 12 to 18year olds with mental health difficulties who have been in touch with the criminal justice system in Southampton. Their feedback and artistic input and that of the staff led, with the help of professional artists (Charley Peters, Richard Woods, Ryan Mosley, Tim A Shaw, Yukako Shibata, and Simon Bayliss), to the creation of extraordinary artwork throughout Bluebird House.

And thanks to a follow up collaboration with Southampton City Art Gallery I was able to enjoy some of the art myself last year. Now I know the next two are not Square, but the majority in this post are, and so I hope everyone will forgive me as I share these. I was rather taken by the spheres and the floor reflections.

Many of the projects that Hospital Rooms had planned for 2020 are on hold because of Covid-19 and so instead they are finding ways to bring their art workshops to secure and locked mental health units digitally. They have also created pages on their website where anyone feeling isolated can get creative. Why not have a go yourself.

By the way if anyone has just joined us and is wondering about my Squares mention; it is a photo-blogging challenge which has been running daily once a month every quarter since September 2017. Anyone can join in the fun. Themes change every quarter, and the only rule is that your main photograph (or the majority in the post) must be square.

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