Sunil Gupta, Songs of Deliverance, Part I and Part II 

A major new commission by Sunil Gupta with Imperial Health Charity, displayed across two London hospitals, with a concurrent presentation on view at Studio Voltaire.

Gupta spent a year working in residence at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith. Recruited via an open invitation, LGBTQIA+ people from the adult HIV Clinic and Gender Affirmation Surgery service were invited to collaborate and spend time with Gupta.

The resulting series of photographic works present portrayals of his collaborators’ lives, their experiences of receiving care and the relationships and transformations that occur in the process. Each work incorporates a colourful accompanying text panel, referencing the work of artist Ken Lum. Some fictional, some personal—they explore family, community, stigma and the lived realities of individuals who access these vital services. With tenderness and insight, Songs of Deliverance will explore how public health systems shape private modes of belonging.

A digital installation of the entire series of thirty-eight works was displayed in the Project Studio, whilst a concurrent exhibition of selected large–scale photographic works from the series was displayed at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith until 24 June 2022.

Songs of Deliverance is now on permanent display at Charing Cross Hospital, and can be found on the second floor, in the corridor leading to the restaurant.

Two of the works have been acquired by Imperial Health Charity for their collection of artworks for Imperial NHS hospitals.

This project is a collaboration between Studio Voltaire and Imperial Health Charity and has received additional funding from Arts Council England. Songs of Deliverance forms part of Desperate Living, an ongoing programme supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation that brings artists, public organisations and informal groups together to test out new and experimental forms of collaborative programming, knowledge sharing and production, explored through the lens of LGBTQIA+ healthcare.

With special thanks to all the participants, models and hospital staff involved.

  1. Sunil Gupta (b. 1953, New Delhi India) is a photographer, writer and curator. He has exhibited internationally and published several books, including Christopher Street, 1976 (Stanley/Barker 2018) and Queer (Vadehra Art Gallery/Prestel 2011). His work is in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (NY, USA) Tate Britain (UK), Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan), Arts Council of Great Britain (UK) and Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA).  A forthcoming retrospective From Here to Eternity opens at the Ryerson Centre in Toronto in 2022. 

    Gupta is represented by Hales Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery.

  2. Imperial Health Charity helps hospitals do more through grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising. Working in partnership with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, we fund major redevelopments, research and medical equipment at five London hospitals – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye – as well as helping patients and their families at times of extreme financial difficulty.

    Supporting the arts in healthcare, we manage an Arts Council accredited hospital art collection and run an arts engagement programme for patients and NHS staff. We also manage volunteering across all five hospitals, adding value to the work of staff and helping to improve the hospital experience for patients. Fundraising through major appeals and community events enables us to continue our essential work.

    Imperial Health Charity’s long-established artist residency programme examines the connection between health and wellbeing and the arts, supporting better health for everyone through creativity and innovation.

  3. Sunil Gupta, Songs of Deliverance Part I and II, 2022, Installation view at Studio Voltaire, Commissioned by Studio Voltaire and Imperial Health Charity, Image Zoë Maxwell

    Sunil Gupta, Songs of Deliverance Part I, 2022, Installation view at St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Commissioned by Studio Voltaire and Imperial Health Charity, Image Zoë Maxwell

    Sunil Gupta, Songs of Deliverance Part II, 2022, Installation view at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Commissioned by Studio Voltaire and Imperial Health Charity, Image Zoë Maxwell

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