Art project inspired by late MP to bring community together | Latest news

Art project inspired by late MP to bring community together

Budding artists in schools across North Kirklees are being invited to use their talents to produce artwork that could adorn the walls of Dewsbury and District Hospital for years to come.   

In an effort to give patients and their visitors something more uplifting to look at on entering the hospital, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is looking for a total of 20 canvases created by local pupils. The artwork has to reflect the statement, ‘We are far more united than the things that divide us’ spoken by the late Jo Cox MP in her maiden House of Commons speech.

The project was the brainchild of Consultant Urogynaecologist Dr Kathryn Fishwick, who said, “We want the local community to see that the hospital is as important to us as it is to them. We are committed to investing in our future in Dewsbury, something which was also important to Jo, and I hope this project will go some way towards illustrating this.

“I also believe it will help to bring the community together and after meeting with some of the art pupils at Spen Valley High School and hearing some of their ideas, I can’t wait to see the finished pieces.”

Spen Valley High School is the first to jump on board. Pupils in years 8 and 9 will work in groups or individually to create their own visual representation of Jo Cox’s statement. The director of art and design Giovanna Gratino has decided to run this as a competition within the school and will select the best canvases to put forward to the hospital.

“This project is a great idea and a fantastic opportunity for the students to get their creative energy flowing,” said Giovanna. “With no limitations on the medium they can use I’m looking forward to seeing a diverse range of personal responses. We have some really talented artists at the school and we will all be really proud to see any of their artwork displayed in the hospital for everyone to see.”

12 year old Leighton Schofield and 13 year old Daniel Green, both from Liversedge, are already working on their ideas and are excited at the prospect of their artwork being picked for display.

“I like art as I can flow with my imagination and there are no limits. I’ve been into it since I was three and my mum used to tell me off for drawing on the walls,” said Daniel. “It would be good if I got to see something I had done displayed in the hospital.”

“Art is my favourite subject,” said Leighton, “I’ve always been able to draw and I love cartoon type designs and vibrant colours.”

The art project will run until the start of the May half term and the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is welcoming any other schools who wish to get involved. You can find out more information by emailing