Meet the Team

We’re a small but dedicated team of artists and art enthusiasts at Cardiff and Vale UHB, all of whom know the benefits of art to patient experience and are passionate about continuing to develop the health board’s art offering. Read more about us below:

Maria Battle

I have been Cardiff and Vale UHB’s Chair since 2012 and during my time have seen the arts programme here blossom. I am also the Chair of the health board’s Arts and Environment group and, with their support, have overseen amazing projects develop from ideas into realities, the likes of which can’t be found in any other health board such as the bespoke arts strategy for our adult mental health unit, Hafan y Coed and our unique Hearth Gallery.

I welcome the mounting evidence that the arts are good for patient wellbeing outcomes as I understand that for many people, hospitals can seem quite intimidating. It is our duty to mitigate this feeling where we can by filling our environments with art, music and colour.

PORTRAITS OF EXECUTIVE AND NON EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

Simone Joslyn

Simone

From my experience within mental health nursing, I have seen first-hand the positive impact that art can have on people’s health and wellbeing. I was one of the leads in developing the Mental Health Services for Older People wards, the state-of-the-art mental health unit, Hafan y Coed, and the bespoke arts strategies that accompanied them.

I was also instrumental in the development of the Hearth Gallery, a unique space for contemporary art, the first of its kind in Wales. I am now the Head of Arts and the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity so will be managing the development of the health board’s arts programme in order to improve our patients’ and staff’s lives with art.

 

Mel Wotton

I have managed the Hearth Gallery since its opening in September 2015 and am responsible for designing a diverse programme of exhibitions and projects from both established and emerging artists, with a unique opportunity to explore and create new artwork for exhibition within a wonderful, purpose-built gallery space.

It’s rewarding to be able to work on exhibitions which make a difference to people’s lives –either through inspiring our patients, staff and visitors and offering an opportunity to relax and enjoy the gallery space or showing artwork aimed at reducing stigma, encouraging discussion and offering new perspectives. The accessibility and central location of the gallery within the hospital means that visitors’ encounter with art is sometimes unexpected, fresh and immediate, and this is exciting in terms of curation

Mel

Our ‘open to all’ ethos is generating a wide network of connections and possibilities, and an enormous interest in arts in healthcare within our hospital sites and beyond, and a number of recent arts projects originating in the gallery have been extended across the hospital, and also to other venues including a London Gallery.

I work on a part-time basis in the gallery and also as a practicing artist from my studio at Kings Road Artists’ Collective, with a background mixture including fine art, ecology, complementary therapies and marketing. I have a strong belief in the ability of nature, the environment, landscape, and all things which improve our sense of wellbeing to greatly impact on our health and the richness of everyday life.

Bryn Kentish

Bryn

I come from a family of artists so have always had a passion for the arts, specifically literature and poetry. I left university with a Master’s Degree in English Literature and have since been looking for a way to take what was once just a hobby and make it part of my job.

I’m incredibly excited to be working on the Cardiff and Vale UHB arts project and will have the task of raising the profile of the arts in healthcare settings, continuing to build the case for even more art to be offered to even more patients during their secondary care experience.

If you have any queries about this website, or the communication strategy that accompanies the health board’s arts project, please get in touch!

Alex Staples

I am a new addition to this team, but having grown up with an artist in my close family, and studying and working in Musical Theatre in the West End, I have a great passion for art and the positive impact it has on both mental and physical wellbeing.

I have also been an inpatient in hospital for long periods of time and from personal experience, I appreciate the need for a positive environment to aid recovery within in the hospital setting.  This is something we can continue to develop and grow within our hospitals and their surroundings.

I am so pleased to work within this team, and to have the opportunity to help make a positive difference to the lives of our patients and their families.

Alex