I have been dropping the artwork into the glazing frames to look at balance, proportion, scale & colour.
Inspired by Jurassic plant fossils, drafts & designs for discussion & comment by the project team & NHS Trusts are coming together in the studio. If successful these will be digitally printed onto glazing vinyl for the Radiotherapy Unit on the ground floor of the Robert White Cancer Centre based at Dorset County Hospital. These services are delivered by Poole Hospital as part of the wider county wide Cancer Services. The project is a collaboration between various agencies including Arts in Hospital & Poole Hospital Charity.
These artworks are presented as long elevations of ground to ceiling windows, but in reality they are a series of interlinked screens at angles to one another. For example, the External Lobby Entrance Screen will be seen through the Clothed Waiting Room Screen.
Above & Below: These are the interior views of glazed screens as they are at the moment. The Staff Meeting Room is overlooked by an unappealing brick wall & stepped access to a public footpath, which is at a higher level creating privacy issues. In the artwork designs, all areas in white will be either transparent glazing or opaque printed vinyl, allowing in light, but not views by the public. The Clothed Waiting Room and Reception area glass screens look out onto the ground floor external paved concourse linking this building to the Main Hospital and adjacent Canteen. The artwork screens will provide much needed privacy from the ground floor pedestrian areas outside and hopefully some peaceful distraction for patients coming regularly into the Radiotherapy unit.
Samples of the designs will be digitally printed at full scale and installed in the Radiotherapy Unit for further comment and confirmation that the outcome is what is desired by staff and patients.
Above: These five rooms are linked via a corridor. I have shown them as a single open space – but in reality, each is a separate private clinic room or office.
Drafts and sketches for the digitally printed glazing vinyl artwork for the ground floor Radiotherapy Unit of the Robert White Cancer Centre are now in progress in the studio. At this stage, the drafts are for comment and discussion and the final design work will be tailored in response to this process.
Inspired by Jurassic plant fossils, such as Cycads, Tree Ferns, Magnolias, Monkey Puzzle and Gingko, the ideas are developing by way of a distinct colour palette and abstract pattern-making too, as well as looking to incorporate and blend in with the glazing artworks of the Outpatient Unit on the first floor, which were completed late in December 2018. Although the two floors deliver independent services via Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospitals, it is important that from the outside particularly, the artwork links the two floors and presents a united front elevation to all those visiting & working on this site. The Jurassic Coastand the Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, have both been influential. The coastal geology has been a particular fascination, with stones and fossils being very much the theme of the first floor Outpatients department.
‘Frieze collaborates with Tate Britain, the National Gallery, RCA, Sketch Gallery and ICA on the 2017 marketing campaign. From contemporary concepts to Renaissance painting, we have worked with important cultural institutions to create the campaigns for Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2017. Showcasing striking design and beautiful floors around London. Photography by Luke Hayes with Art Direction by Amy Preston’. Frieze London 2017.
I was delighted to see my work featured in the Frieze London 2017 Marketing Campaign. My in-situ polychrome terrazzo and cut marble floor was quietly celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary in 2017, since it was commissioned by the RCA for the main entrance and reception of the new Darwin Building in 1987. The work was manufactured and installed by Diespeker & Co. I worked closely throughout in collaboration with Diespeker’s and the RCA. As stated – I was surprised and delighted to see it featured again in this way.
I recently made contact with the Photographer Luke Hayesto enquire about any other images he may have of the work, which didn’t make the original campaign. He has generously allowed me access to these images, which I reproduce here with his kind permission. I have very few images myself – and no digital images – and appear to have very little by way of documentation. I graduated from the RCA in 1985 and I think I was commissioned whilst I was still a post-grad student in Ceramics. This makes some sense, as the design for the floor was very much an extension of the work I was doing in ceramics, which was focussed on Architectural form and decoration. I was pretty amazed to see it was still in such good condition. Terrazzo is an amazing material and I have used it- rather sporadically I admit – throughout my career and had the pleasure of working alongside some amazing craftspeople at Diespeker’s and Pallam Precast, now part of Quality Marble.
Above: From what I can recall, this (poor quality) image was taken just after the final grinding & completion of the floor by Diespeker’s. It hadn’t been cleaned or polished and was very dusty – just like me in the image.
Between 1985 / 87 during the delivery of this project, I had no access to digital processes or computers – although they had recently started to appear at the RCA. The original artwork was hand drawn and painted in gouache. Templates for the timber formwork were first drawn up full scale and processed in the RCA’s timber workshops on Jay Mews. I suppose what it did, was reinforce the hand made and craft process associated with the manufacture of the work. I do remember sanding off the tip of one of my fingers in the workshop. I had so little money in those post student days, that I also recall walking all the way from Terrazzo manufacturer Diespeker’s old premises at Diespeker Wharf Wharf, Islington, back to my old studio at Loughborough Junction on Coldharbour Lane, South London, carrying a pile of terrazzo samples.
Below: Really interesting to work briefly with Luke’s images to re-imagine some new designs for the same floor. Digital processes we have instantly available in minutes today would have taken me days to produce similar painted patterns in 1987.
Red Deer on Jacob’s Ladder, Military Road, Ramsgate. Animal Thanet 2019
‘Jacob’s Ladder is a Grade II Listed flight of stone steps. Built in 1826 by John Shaw.Dog-leg stairs with three flights of steps faced with ashlar and built between flanking towers with rounded fronts of ashlar, each flight of steps with wide central pilaster; centre landings. Iron balustrade. The present stair replaces an earlier wooden flight of c.1750, 100 yards to the east’. Historic England.
In 2001, was commissioned by Elizabeth Smith, the Public Arts Officer for Southampton City Council to collaborate with the project client Barratt Homes, to create an interpretive landscape artwork for the central courtyard of the former Dell Football ground. The Dell was demolished in 2001 by Hughes and Salvidge. I was able to visit the ground to document the site just before this process began and just after the last game had been played.
“a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and lofty aspens” Philip Brannon 1850
“On 19 May 2001, midfielder Matt Le Tissier, (who retired from playing a year later) said goodbye to the stadium that had been host to his entire professional career by scoring a volley in the final minutes of the final league game securing a 3–2 win against. Le Tissier has the distinction of scoring the last competitive goal at The Dell. On 26 May, the club’s fans said goodbye to the Dell by stripping all of its seats, the pitch and even an advertising board after Southampton’s last game at the stadium, a 1-0 victory in a friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion, the first and last opponents at the stadium. The last goal ever scored at the Dell was by Uwe Rosler”. Wikipedia
“The final league goal witnessed by the Dell was Le Tissier’s 89th-minute winner against Arsenal, a fitting tribute from the forward to his home for 16 years and to the fans who could not imagine life without him. Club fortunes fluctuate, players come and go but Le Tissier has infected those who have witnessed his feats on the south coast and their worshipping will go on long after his boots are finally hung up”. The Guardian 21st May 2001
‘The site on which the ground was built was described in Philip Brannon’s Picture of Southampton, published in 1850, as “a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and lofty aspens”. The stream is the Rollsbrook which flows out of Southampton Common, running parallel to Hill Lane before disappearing under Commercial Road and Southampton Central Station, from where it is conduited under Southampton Docks into Southampton Water.
The land had been purchased in the 1880s by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway to enable them to continue their line from Winchester via Twyford, Chandlers Ford, a tunnel at Chilworth and Shirley where it was to pass to the North East of what is nowSt James’ Park, Southampton and St James’ Church. From here the line would have travelled south across Hill Lane to run through the dell and onto an embankment leading to a viaduct over Commercial Road and the London and South Western Railway line before terminating on the Western Esplanade North of the Royal Pier.
The dell was stripped of vegetation and the stream channelled into a conduit with work started on the embankment, which survives behind property to the North of Commercial Road but was never used, and the viaduct which was part built but later demolished.’ Wikipedia
I wanted to recreate this idea of ‘a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and trees’, as well as represent something important about the history of football and of Southampton FC on this site. It appeared that the centre circle of the pitch was exactly where the stream had originally passed through and was now culverted underground. The radius of the centre circle on a football pitch is 9.15m. My design reflects this. The centre spot is in exactly the same space it would have been on any match day. 11 trees are planted around the circumference to reflect the squad of 11 who would have played each game. The raw cast concrete retaining walls, steps and planting beds retain something of the look and feel of the original football terraces. Several bespoke cast terrazzo benches with white aggregate in a red cement matrix face into the centre. These reflect the club colours.
The most notable detail is the textured low-relief elevation exposed around the centre circle. This is the stud print of Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot – or so I was led to believe. We contacted the club during this project and this was the boot I was sent. I so want to believe it. I wore the boot to make the original mould, by running over a bed of clay. I still have it. The idea was to recreate and remember the raw play and boots on muddy ground which embodies the spirit of play.
I approached Patterns & Moulds Ltd, a fantastic company, I have since worked with on several projects. Established in 1967, Patterns & Moulds remains the largest independent and privately owned mould maker in the UK.
Turf had been stripped off the pitch by fans eager to take a piece of footballing history home with them.
Above: All the concrete works were delivered in-situ, with timber formwork constructed on site. The concrete retaining structures and curving walls created a series of interlinked paths and terraces, which were then backfilled with soil or compacted gravels to create the finished terrace levels. The Matt Le Tissier stud-print concrete feature relief-wall was also cast in-situ on site with bespoke rubber moulds and timber formwork. The raw, unfinished concrete surfaces emulated the original hard terrace construction at the Dell Football ground.
Above: Elizabeth Smith, Public Arts Officer, Southampton City Council 1998 – 2011, talking with the Project Site Manager.
Above & Below: The Rollsbrook Stream was re-imagined as a shallow rill flowing through the courtyard.
On Tuesday 19th March 2019, the screens were carefully installed by SEH Commercial. The East Screen was installed in the morning and the North Screen in the afternoon. Proto Glass Studiosdelivered the 18 sealed units – a total of 42 sqm of decorated glass – in two runs from their premises in Pewsey, Wiltshire. I couldn’t be there, which was a real disappointment, but the process was documented by a number of people on site. I am showing their images here.
There is still a fair amount of work to be done in finishing the new buildings, both inside & out, so for now and the foreseeable future at least, the glass will be covered by boards & protected. These are the last images we will see before the building is officially opened.
This project has been a great journey to make in collaboration with a wonderful project team. Hetty Dupays, director of Art at the Heart of the RUHwho commissioned the work has been a most supportive project manager. Also a big thanks to Gina Sargeant,Head of Therapies & Clinical Site, whose direct and pragmatic approach was balanced by her humour. I could not have delivered this artwork without the input and advocacy of both these brilliant people. A massive thanks to all staff and patients from both the RUH and RHNRD (The Min), IBI Group Architects& Main Contractor Kierwho collaborated throughout, and who offered their support and experience.
The external wall elevations and frames are still in progress, as are the interiors and the Screens will be padded out and boarded up from today, to protect them during the remaining works on site.
I am always trying to play catch-up with projects I completed prior to having any online platforms. Here we are, almost 13 years since its completion and installation and I have finally managed to track down a great set of images, which were commissioned by Tarkett Flooring(actually it was Tarkett Marley back in 2006). The images were originally commissioned by PR Firm Mainspring from photographer Ian Blantern of Blantern & Davis Photography.
Ian Blantern retrieved the images from his archive, for which I am really grateful.
In 2004 I was commissioned by Peter Ursem, a former director of the Artcare Team at Salisbury District Hospital to collaborate with project team Architects, Chapman Taylorand Contractor Gleeson. The brief was to create bespoke flooring installations throughout the four levels of the new building, combined with creating interior colour schemes to assist in wayfinding and identity. I collaborated closely with Tarkett Marley Floors throughout the design and manufacturing period on sonic cutting and installation methods.
“The planned move of services from the older southern end of the Salisbury District Hospital site to a new modern purpose built facility took place in May 2006. The new building which was designed using the views of local people and staff houses the regional burns service, elderly care and orthopaedic wards. It also has an outpatient department with plastic surgery, maxillo facial outpatients, laser treatment centre and therapy services. This was the largest development seen on this site since Phase One of the hospital was built in1993 and means that these services now have natural links with the acute and diagnostic services in the newer part of the hospital. The new burns accommodation is situated on level four and has its own dedicated operating theatre. It is located near the Intensive Therapy Unit so that it can access critical care support for people with serious burn injuries. Orthopaedics has its own purpose built accommodation and this is located on level four of the new building close to main theatres. Plastic surgery and maxillo facial outpatients has its own department on level three, so that it links in with general outpatient and diagnostic services on the same level in the existing hospital. Medical and elderly wards are situated on level two, with two elderly care wards taking the vacated ward areas in the existing hospital that are next to the Nunton Unit, which provides physiotherapy. In designing the new building, the aim was to maximise natural daylight and ensure that patients in ward areas can enjoy excellent views across the Wiltshire countryside”.Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
The designs were inspired by abstract forms in the Wiltshire landscape – ephemeral and or suggested elements as seen from the Hospital. This included ancient and historic man-made stone circles at Avebury and Sarum, crop circles, dew ponds, Fovant Badges, plough lines and field patterns. I also looked at Downton lace making, the architecture and decoration of Salisbury Cathedral and the flora and fauna of a chalk and limestone landscape. Engagement with staff and patients was also undertaken. The installations were made at major node points such as nurses stations, waiting areas, key vistas and in the window seating areas of the 4-bed bays. The patterns break up the generous expanses of floor, providing an element of surprise and distraction for patients and visitors alike. All floors share a limited catalogue of motifs, but these are expressed via individual and distinct colour palettes on each level. Levels 1 & 2 share an set of earth and terracotta tones representing chalk marls and ploughed fields. Level 3 uses shades of green reminiscent of summer and farmland and woods, whilst on Level 4, blues and lilac colours reflect shifting skyscapes.
What am I proposing?
Looking at Wiltshire: A patchwork of pattern, texture and light
Designs inspired by man-made forms in the landscape –
Earthworks: Avebury – Old Sarum – Silbury Hill
Chalk Drawings: Wiltshire Horses and Fovant Badges
Designs inspired by local history, industry and architecture –
Medieval Ceramic Tiles
Romano British Mosaics
Designs inspired by the unseen & ephemeral in the landscape –
The geology of Wiltshire
Fossils of the Chalk Downland of Wiltshire
Associated Flora and Fauna: Horseshoe Vetch and Adonis Blue
Above: Bespoke inlaid flooring with a Surgeon’s leg.
I have worked at Dorset County Hospital on two previous occasions, both memorable. My association with the Trust and its Arts in Hospital Team goes back to 1993, some 26 years! This recent visit to start a new project for the Radiotherapy Unit at the recently completed Robert White Centre, was quite poignant, because I made a concerted effort, whilst there to re-connect and revisit two commissions I had previously created for the Hospital, in 1993 and 2009 respectively. I have deliberately not looked back at the files for these projects, in fact I am not sure I still have the 1993 project on record. That was definitely pre-digital.
Interesting to see things again – unplanned and in the moment and experience them anew.
The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital seen through rain spattered windows on a bad weather day. I couldn’t access the courtyard directly yesterday due to the weather. The bronze dog is by Dame Elisabeth Frink, who I was extremely privileged to meet at her home in Blandford Forum in 1992, when I was taken there by my commissioner Val Pitt-Rivers, the founder of Arts in Hospital and a great friend of Elisabeth’s. Elisabeth Frink died in 1993. The courtyard was designed and created around this beautiful sculpture and was loosely based upon a roman villa garden.
‘In 1987, the Vice Chairman of the hospital, Val Pitt-Rivers, started Arts in Hospital with the help of a few friends. Since her retirement in 1998 she has continued to support us as an active patron. Her first committee was responsible for some of our most iconic artworks such as the Red & Blue Crayons by Peter Logan and the Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink, a founder patron of Arts in Hospital.
After the opening of Phase 1 of the new Dorset County Hospital in 1987, the internal courtyards became the main focus of the arts project. The first to be completed was the Waterfall Courtyard by the sculptor Hamish Horsley. Soon after followed the courtyard to house Elisabeth Frink’s Dog, which was designed by artist Christopher Tipping, and then the Bird Garden designed by John Hubbard with stone fragments engraved by Richard Grasby’. Arts in Hospital
I love to see the lichens growing everywhere…a sign of age…as well as the Box and Bamboo topiary, maintained as cubes as per the original design.
The Hospital Streets project was completed in 2009 & was commissioned by the then director of Arts in Hospital, Alexandra Coulter.
The project was focussed on colour and wayfinding over three floors of the hospital, with the inspiration coming from two days spent walking & exploring along the Jurassic Coastand another day buried deep in the archives of the Dorset County Museum fossil collections. We collaborated with Tarkett flooring and created bespoke motifs which were inlaid at key points along the Hospital Streets such as lift lobbies and stairs. The work is now almost 10 years old and still looks remarkably fresh considering the heavy traffic.
Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019