New art installation highlights how research is helping cancer care

A new art display to showcase how patients and clinicians are working with researchers to improve cancer care has been launched at a special event. 

The Imperial Butterfly Artwork Installation: Bringing Research to the Clinic is an art installation of 250 ceramic pieces in the waiting area of Clinic 8, an out-patient cancer clinic at Charing Cross Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The art installation includes ceramic butterflies and flowers demonstrating how patients receive care while simultaneously giving back to scientific research, which helps researchers and clinicians to find new treatments and therapies.

Researchers from Imperial College London and clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust work together in the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre, which aims to improve patient outcomes by harnessing scientific discoveries and translating them as quickly as possible into new diagnostics, devices and therapies, in the NHS and beyond.

The installation was created by ceramic artist David Marques who worked with patients to get their views on the best way to showcase their care at the clinic. The butterflies each represent a patient coming to the clinic and the meadow of flowers represents the therapies patients receive during treatment, as well as the people they meet during their care. 

Kelly Gleason, Senior Research Nurse at the Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, said:

“Research carried out over the last 10 years has shown that there are health and wellbeing benefits of incorporating art in healthcare settings.  Our art installation is a great way of showcasing to our patients how care and research at Imperial are linked and how patients benefit from our approach.  The feedback from our patients was vital in shaping our art installation and transforming the waiting area space at Clinic 8.   I hope that patients, staff and visitors enjoy the display and are inspired to learn more about our research and care.”

The art installation was commissioned by the Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre and funded by Cancer Research UK.  It was launched at a special reception on Thursday 4 February 2016 to coincide with World Cancer Day.