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End Bed Blocking

Gail Armstrong gets ready to reveal her latest art installation as part of the campaign to end bed blocking in the UK

Beds have been converted into art in a bid by artists to change attitudes and highlight how damaging bed-blocking is to people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the economy. 

Bed blocking is the long-term occupation of hospital beds due to a shortage of suitable care elsewhere, this practise not only causes distress to the patient but is also estimated to cost the NHS up to £3bn a year.

Elder.org are behind this campaign which aims to raise awareness to the issue and ultimately put a stop to the practise in the long run.

Pete Dowds, chief executive of Elder, a care provider offering live-in care and home care, founded the campaign. He said: “This is the very first movement of its kind. Bringing together artists, doctors and innovators. It’s not about lobbying for more money, it’s about shifting attitudes, and these installations really provoke a response.”

Paper Artist Gail Armstrong is proud to be involved in the project, she is 1 of 10 UK artists invited to create an art installation from a bed, each of them being displayed at different times in different pop-up locations around the UK, before being brought together for an exhibition in London:

"Over the last three weeks, ten artists across the UK have been leading the Campaign to End ‘Bed Blocking’. Dropped in iconic locations throughout the country, their bed-based installations have taken the nation by storm.” Elder

Gail tells us a but more about her bed in her artists statement for the piece - "Bed of Roses

'In creating this art piece for the campaign to end bed blocking, paper seemed the perfect medium to use as a metaphor for the paperwork and bureaucracy that slow the process of being discharged from hospital. Going home after recovery from illness should be a positive experience with as little entanglement as possible, yet we hear too often of people being trapped in their hospital beds with nowhere to go.

“Bed Of Roses” tries to positively reflect those thoughts. It is a play on the expression ‘bed of roses’ used convey a happy, carefree life. Larger-than-life paper sculpture roses ramble through the metal structure of a bed that is reminiscent of victorian hospital beds, looping in and back on themselves so that it’s impossible to lie on the bed.

The roses are thorn free - there are no hidden negatives here. But what are hidden amongst the roses are small butterflies and insects, little details to give secret pleasures - often in life it is the small things that make a real difference yet can go unnoticed.

I deliberately kept the colours of the piece minimal to keep the clarity of the piece and concept, wanting to keep a sense of harmony in this visually complex piece. Continuing the theme, as a final detail, rather than signing the artwork conventionally, the name and signature is added as a plant label."

To see Gail's bed launched pop over to Primrose Hill, London on October 1st, if you'd like to see it after than it is being shown at Candid Arts Gallery on 12th and 13th October alongside the other nine bed installations with an additional 7 mystery pieces by big-name artists.



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