Boredom Buster

A welcome distraction

Boredom Buster is a 48-page summer annual-inspired, tabloid-format publication that circulated around UK hospitals during summer and autumn 2020. Armed with just a pencil, patients could disappear into creative activities, fascinating features and inspiring artworks to help to alleviate boredom, aid recovery, and possibly learn something new. Some activities even encouraged conversation between strangers.

Pictured above: Dr Anna Farther (Arts & Culture UHBW) and Fiona Matthews (Culture Weston)
Photograph by Paul Blakemore
Evidence proves that the arts and socialising are good for you. Boredom Buster was created from a collaboration between Weston-super-Mare’s community arts organisation, Culture Weston, and Arts & Culture at NHS University Hospitals Bristol and Weston.
Following the postponement of the two organisations’ inaugural event, The Arts + Health Weekender, originally set to happen in the former spa town of Weston-super-Mare in April 2020, they amassed a wealth of generous contributions from artists—including Banksy, Luke Jerram and Anthony Gormley, to name a few—and arts professionals which provided the content and formed the impetus behind the project.
Having created the event identity for the postponed Weekender, I was invited to collaborate with Culture Weston and Arts & Culture UHBW to art direct and design Boredom Buster. As with a lot of decisions, challenges and solutions that were made, designed and distributed quickly in 2020, producing this summer publication for a printrun of 60,000 to distribute to UK hospitals was no exception.
As one of the most rewarding projects I have ever been involved with, I’m very excited to be involved with the second edition, due early spring 2021.

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