Room For Improvement Logo

Room For Improvement

10–16 December 2018 - exploring the world of wellbeing and enjoying the unique opportunity to exercise in the art gallery.

The University of Liverpool’s Cancer Research Centre teamed up with Pilates for Life, Sunflowers Cancer Support Centre, NHS Liverpool CCG and artists Richard Meaghan and Fiona Torrance to produce this unique project, inspired by the work of Fernand Leger: New Times, New Pleasures.

Room for Improvement took place at Tate Exchange Liverpool 10 – 16 December 2018. It was a welcoming and calm space for visitors to explore how to use learning, art and movement as powerful tools for self-care and take the opportunity to exercise in this novel and engaging setting.  

The concept for this installation came from the Joseph Pilates quote, “Change happens through movement, and movement heals.” Pilates is a fitness regime developed in the 1930’s by Joseph Pilates, whose interest was in helping injured athletes return to optimum health as quickly as possible. Originally called Contrology, Pilates uses a scientific approach to exercise and it is the perfect fitness method for anyone recovering from illness or living with a long-term condition.

This project was inspired by the work of Fernand Leger who was painting at a time when Joseph Pilates was starting to develop his exercise regime. Like Leger, Pilates took inspiration from the technology of their day. Both viewed the body as a machine, whichmust be maintained throughout life for optimum performance.

The key principles of the Pilates method: Engagement, Breathing, Control, Concentration, Precision and Balance, apply equally to perfecting technical excellence in Pilates as in art.

The collaborating partners ran a programme of open public activities, classes and events in the Room for Improvement throughout the week giving visitors the opportunity to:


  • about how cancer and long-term conditions affect individuals and communities in Liverpool.
  • about how research at the University of Liverpool is helping to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer and long-term conditions
  • how adopting techniques of self-care can increase your mental and physical wellbeing and reduce your risk of illness.
  • how to measure your own wellbeing and find ways to improve and maintain it


  • the positive influence of learning, movement and art on mood, health and wellbeing
  • the healing and restorative benefits of exercise and creativity
  • the enjoyment of exercising in an art gallery


  • by trying out a new activity
  • by sharing your stories with us