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Celebrating Art Therapy at Mildmay Mission Hospital

CEO Geoff Coleman greets Michèle Wood at Mildmay's reception
CEO Geoff Coleman greets Michèle Wood at Mildmay's reception

Today, we welcomed Art Therapist Michèle Wood to Mildmay. Her visit coincides with this year's World AIDS Day (this coming Friday 1st December), and it's been an honour to have her with us.

Michèle has a history with Mildmay, having served as the art therapist within the Counselling team here from 1989 to 1998. During her tenure, she collected a valuable archive of artwork created by patients. This collection now resides at the London Metropolitan Library alongside various documents from our institution.

To commemorate World AIDS Day this year, the British Association of Art Therapist’s Special Interest Group for art therapists working in palliative care, AIDS, Cancer, bereavement and loss (Creative Response) is recording an interview with Michèle, to be shared with its members. During the interview, Michèle will be at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), handling the archive and sharing the pictures.

It has been great to reconnect with Michèle, and we look forward to future collaborations with our current Art Therapist, Brita.

A photo of Art Therapy albums from the archive of Mildmay Mission Hospital
Art Therapy albums from the archive of Mildmay

At the LMA, a wealth of records from Mildmay Mission Hospital are kept safely. These include corporate records like minutes, reports, publications, newsletters, and photographs.

Notably, the archives house examples of artwork produced by patients during art therapy sessions.

Additionally, there are case files for deceased patients who suffered from AIDS-related illnesses, contributing to the rich historical narrative within the archives.

Today's visit serves as a reminder of the profound impact of art therapy and the importance of commemorating World AIDS Day. Michèle's work and Mildmay's archives stand as testaments to the resilience and creativity of individuals facing challenges.

As we observe World AIDS Day this Friday, let us pay tribute to those who have bravely battled this disease and strive for a future free from stigma and discrimination. These archives are not just records but powerful reminders of the human stories behind them.


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