Art gallery creates 'space for all to enjoy' in Lister Hospital corridor

Dagmar Louw Lister Hospital

Lister Hospital clinical nurse specialist Dagmar Louw, who was integral to the creation of The LIFE Gallery, pictured with some of her artwork. - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

An art gallery in a corridor at Lister Hospital in Stevenage is providing a space for community artists to display their work.

Back in 2017, colleagues Joan Lomas and Dr Sagen Zav-Varghese were discussing health and art at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's annual general meeting when they came up with the idea for a gallery within the hospital.

And now - after joining forces with artists Dagmar Louw and Alison Burton, who also work for the trust at Lister - that dream has become a reality.

Sharon Monery Lister Hospital

Biggleswade-based artist Sharon Monery with some of her work on display at The LIFE Gallery in Lister Hospital. - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

The LIFE Gallery (which stands for ''Lister initiative for the enhancement of the environment') is situated in what is known to NHS staff as the 'pink corridor', which connects the main hospital with Lister's Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit.

Currently seven artists have their work on display at the gallery, including Alison, a patient flow coordinator, and Dagmar, a clinical nurse specialist.

The space was transformed thanks to funding from the East and North Hertfordshire's Hospitals Charity, with chair of the trustees committee Bob Niven cutting the ribbon and unveiling a special plaque to declare it open.

Bob Niven Lister Hospital

Bob Niven, a non-executive director for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s board, officially opened The Life Gallery at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital. - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Speaking at the small ceremony, Mr Niven, who is also a non-executive director of the NHS trust's board, said: “Sculptor Henry Moore says to be an artist is to believe in life, and a hospital is about preserving and enhancing life – so it is a perfect combination. The exhibits are wonderful.”

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The gallery is one of a number of projects under the trust's wider Artlife initiative, which has seen colourful art and design transform hospital spaces.

Dagmar said: "Art and health are inextricably linked, so we are tremendously pleased to have made this hospital space available for artists to share their creativity with everyone.

“Our LIFE Gallery is here for all to enjoy, so please take a look if you are at the hospital and get in touch if you are interested in having your artwork featured."

LIFE Gallery at Lister Hospital

The LIFE Gallery is located in the pink zone, not far from the main entrance at Lister Hospital in Stevenage. - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Artists can have their work on display at the gallery for a small fee - with Artlife receiving 20 per cent of commission on sales - which will be used to fund future projects.

If you are interested in displaying your artwork, email