Healing power of art inspires Rugby Collection exhibition

The exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum opens on Friday.
The exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum opens on Friday.

This year’s Rugby Collection art exhibition is inspired by the contribution culture makes to people’s health and quality of life.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s annual celebration of the borough’s collection of contemporary art has the theme of ‘health and wellbeing’, with works selected to stir emotions, stimulate discussion and create a sense of relaxation.

William Gear's Black Diamonds On Yellow January will be on display as part of the exhibition. Photo: Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby Borough Council, The Estate of William Gear. NNL-171004-115554001

William Gear's Black Diamonds On Yellow January will be on display as part of the exhibition. Photo: Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby Borough Council, The Estate of William Gear. NNL-171004-115554001

Pieces featured in the exhibition include works by LS Lowry, Paul Nash, AK Dolven and William Gear, whose Black Diamonds On Yellow January was recently acquired for the Rugby Collection.

The exhibition also includes pieces on loan from Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum which were inspired by the town’s Royal Pump Rooms, where visitors flocked from across Europe during the 19th century to benefit from the spa water’s supposed healing powers.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s arts, heritage and visitor services manager Nikki Grange said: “Research by Arts Council England has shown engagement with the arts and culture stimulates feelings of wellbeing, while health professionals now recognise the positive role the arts can play for patients with conditions such as depression, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

“This has provided the inspiration for this year’s Rugby Collection exhibition and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors and generating a sense of wellbeing.”

The Rugby Collection was established by the borough council in 1946 and is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. The collection of 20th and 21st century British art boasts more than 200 works, including paintings, drawings, photography, prints, film and new media.

Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment Cllr Heather Timms said: “The borough’s nationally-renowned collection of contemporary art was launched shortly after the end of the Second World War, when the view was art and culture had a role to play in lifting the nation’s spirits.

“With research now showing the positive impact the arts have on our health and wellbeing, the Rugby Collection exhibition should prove the perfect prescription for visitors to the borough’s cultural hub.”

The exhibition opens on Friday (April 14) and runs until Saturday, June 3.

For more information about Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, visit www.ragm.co.uk.