A few more images of the installation of the ‘Canal Shore’ artwork and highway works have been issued by Balfour Beatty from the site of the Phase 1 Station Quarter North project in Southampton.
31st July 2014
90 Independence Street, Canton, Boston, MA. First full day in the US. This will be a day to rest. Sat on the deck in very warm breeze watching blue jays, red cardinals and 3 tiny humming birds , amongst other things chasing about the garden. Such a treat to do nothing but watch and listen. There is also something quintessentially American about the sound of trains as they pass through in the distance. Went on a visit to one of Rose’s friends. They have a black painted swimming pool, which appears like indigo – inky dark. Wish we could have been swimming in it ! Then off to Old Navy to get Nell some flip flops. Something has been killing grey squirrels here too. Steve says that four of the things have been found in the garden recently. One was still there on the lawn last night when we arrived. This morning only the tail was still there. We had a great journey over this time. We travelled via Dublin, from Heathrow. The advantage was that we cleared US Customs and Immigration in Ireland, which meant that we came into Logan via domestic flights, which really sped things up and wasn’t nearly so nerve wracking as usual. Heathrow Terminal 2 was a dream. Hardly anyone around, brand new with really helpful staff. The best check-in experience ever. Richard Wilson’s new sculpture is equally impressive, Actually it is stunning and has an air, both of modernity and fluidity as well as referencing the glamour & physicality of early passenger flight.
Friday 27th June.
GLAZING MANIFESTATION ARTWORKS TO THE ‘HEART OF THE CAMPUS’ BUILDING FOR SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY, COLLEGIATE CAMPUS .
DIGITALLY PRINTED WHITE INKS OVERLAIN IN OPAQUE & TRANSPARENT LAYERS ONTO OPTICALLY CLEAR VINYL .
Up to Sheffield to walk around site with Carly Birkett of VGL . I am developing the glazing manifestation artwork in collaboration with VGL and we have limited time to get this project developed and installed. As usual the project contractors, Graham Construction were really helpful on site and assisted in the process of taking all ‘as built’ measures of the glazing screens which will take the artwork.
The proposals for glazing manifestations is a continuation of the west elevation Rockpanel rains creen artwork, where cnc routed detailed drawings where been used to create a hard edged and graphic finish, dictated in part by its design influences in historic printmaking and metalworking in Sheffield and by the materials and methods of its own production. The manifestation artworks being are created using the same base visual language & influences developed & explored in the Rockpanel work. This proposal expands upon this concept to explore a softer more fluid application concerned with lightness, detail, transparency & opacity to create a balancing contrast to the dynamic geometry & scale of the building. ‘The designs are abstract & cloud-like, suggesting ephemeral objects, floating within the architectural space from the ground floor to the very top of the atrium roof. The interactions of the various patterns and forms, overlaying and meeting to create new shapes, details and transparencies suggest a coalescing of conversations, interactions, disciplines and dialogue. The exhalations & energy of everyone who may use this new building are manifest here’. The digitally printed vinyl manifestation is applied to the glazing directly which requires a lighter touch than the West Elevation artwork. The detail and narrative appear as if blown and drifted through the building. This project is a continuation, extension and elaboration of the recently completed West Elevation Rockpanel Rainscreen artwork, where cnc routed detail has been used to create a hard edged and graphic appearance, dictated in part by its origins in printmaking and metalworking and the materials and methods of its production. The original concept was developed as a contextual research document, which still stands as the concept driver for the project and is submitted for reference along with this presentation. ‘The manifestation artworks being proposed in draft form here are created from the same base visual language developed for the Rockpanel Rainscreen works of the west elevation, but expands upon this concept to explore a softer more fluid application concerned with light, space & transparency to create a balancing contrast to the dynamic geometry of the building.
In December 2008 I was commissioned, along with a number of other artists, to respond to the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project, which was nearing completion after a 10 year ambitious and ground-breaking engineering-led programme.
The Combe Down Stone Mines Project was a major project undertaken by Bath & North East Somerset Council to stabilise abandoned limestone mine workings in the village of Combe Down and preserve the Health & Safety of the area. The aim of the Project was to remove the current threat to life and property of those living, working in and travelling through the Combe Down area. Collapse of the old mines, which in some instances, lay just metres beneath the surface, was a real possibility. In doing this, the Project ensured that the internationally recognised heritage, wildlife and environmental properties of the area were conserved for future generations.
The Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project was finally completed in 2010, with 25 hectares of very shallow limestone mines flooded with approximately 600,000 cubic metres of foamed concrete, the largest project of its kind in the world. Over the preceding 200 years some 700 houses had been built over the mines from which the stone was extracted to build Georgian Bath.
The project site of Combe Down, a village on the outskirts of Bath, falls within the World Heritage Site of Bath.
The arts project team was managed and led by Art Consultants Frances Lord and Steve Geliot. “To celebrate the end of the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) granted £250K funding for commissioning public art. The Combe Down Public Art Project was the result of two years of activity, events, residencies and commissions”. Frances Lord
‘1479 plates’ Art Budget: £54,000.00
Client:Bath & North East Somerset Council funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, formerly English Herirage. https://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/combe-down-stone-mines
A 21st Century Miner greeting a 19th Century Stone Miner. Archaeologists found a single bone of the Hare whilst excavating & recording the stone mines – ‘probably someone’s lunch!’. The leek represents the 21st Century mine workers who mostly came from South Wales.
The installation work ‘1479 plates’, was exhibited at The Octagon, an 18th Century Chapel in Bath, and featured a map of 788 bone china dinner plates , which explores the relationship between present day engineering and mining technology, stone mines heritage, archaeology, natural history, and two 18th Century entrepreneurs of the English Enlightenment, Ralph Allen and Josiah Wedgwood. The work was created in collaboration with ‘Autonomatic’ – 3D Digital Research Cluster at University College Falmouth. The plates were displayed on a curving monolithic wall, redolent of the architectural terraces in Bath, built with the stone from the mines. The exhibition was constructed and managed by REM, Richmond Event Management.
The local community was widely consulted and was from the outset a supportive and creative project champions group, attending meetings and contributing significantly to the outcome of the works. I often stayed with local families, which was a very engaging way of collaborating away from the formal meetings and group sessions.
The image above is an A0 size print made to commemorate the project which has the names of all the Miners employed by Hydrock who worked on and contributed to the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project. Printed by Digital Arte.
691 households affected by the stabilisation works were gifted a ceramic plate – one small part of the map – representing not only the individual household but the mining underworld beneath it. Following their display at The Octagon, the original 788 dinner plates were donated to form a large scale permanent installation in Combe Down village at some point in the future.
14th May 2014
I made a site visit to the Heart of the Campus building along with Andrew Illingworth, Interior Designer for HLM Architects & Garry Farmer, Project Manager for Graham Construction, the main contractors on the project. Seen from Collegiate Crescent, the building is just visible behind the mature Beech trees.
I have been commissioned to extend the original brief for a cnc routed Rockpanel rainscreen on the West Elevation to include digitally printed vinyl manifestations for the East Elevation glazed curtain wall and interiors. This was an incredibly useful visit as the building has really moved forward since my last time here in January this year.
The interior atrium is three storeys high and filled with light. It is a dynamic architectural space which has as a centrepiece, a cantilevered cube projecting out from the first floor. When sunlight floods in via the fully glazed atrium roof, the whole building is suffused with light and shadows.
Whilst on site I couldn’t resist a quick look at the West Elevation Rockpanel ‘drawing’. This artwork is cnc routed into the rain screen panels & was manufactured by The Cutting Room in Huntingdon. The exposed base material, almost a bright yellow colour when first exposed, darkens in contact with sunlight and has now achieved its permanent shade. This is more subtle then when first installed, & has now blended in with its architectural setting. Up close, the detail is crisp and casts strong shadows on a sunny day.
The first drafts for the glazing manifestations were produced in January this year and use the same iconography as the West Elevation cnc work. The manifestations however, being digitally printed, have no need for hard edges and manageable cutting paths. The designs will work with transparency and light to achieve their results. Digital printing further allows for a range of softer and finer details to be introduced. This is what I am currently working on. The manifestations serve a distinct purpose and have to comply with building regulations. Beyond that, the artwork can develop in many original ways to drift through the building.
Work began to prepare the unit for the installation in March this year. What appears to be a simple case of ‘wallpapering’ a space couldn’t be further from the truth within an environment such as this. Sensitivity to the treatments being carried out within the unit is paramount. The ongoing quality and appearance of the DTU must be considered, even during renovations and repair works. As this is a day treatment unit, weekend working for the specialist contractors from VGL is the only option. This means that the project has to be undertaken over a number of consecutive weekends, which appears to extend the project for longer than it really warrants.
The following images show the first area to be installed. These are not finished images as further works are due to make good the final positioning of furniture and fittings etc.
Many people make up the wider project team. They have to be consulted and become involved to enable the works to happen. This is time consuming stuff and I am so grateful to Ruth Charity, the Arts Co-ordinator for the Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust who has steered this project since the outset, through its fair share of stormy weather ! The staff particularly have been patient and encouraging throughout.
We have been working alongside Carly Birkett, Account Manager at VGL, Reading, who has collaborated extensively on the design production, manufacture and installation planning for the project. By May 2013, we had small scale sample panels produced and installed within the unit in July 2013 for a number of weeks to gain feedback from staff and user groups. Following this period, the detailed design was revised and re-issued for comment.
One issue which arose was that within the confines of the the narrow corridor, the blurred form of the tree had a rather dizzying effect on some people as they tried to focus upon it. We alleviated the problem by layering another transparent image, which was very sharp, onto the surface, which gave the eye a clear object upon which to focus. Hopefully this has addressed the issue.
The final designs were then sampled and full scale sections delivered to the Trust for review and comment. As you can see from the following images, the panels were quite a handful to manage and manoeuvre.
On 5th December 2013, we finally approved the samples panels produced from the detailed production designs. From here on it was all go to set a schedule for print, manufacture and installation.
This is an introduction to the project – ‘Landscape: bringing the outside in’
This arts project was commissioned in April 2012 for the Cancer & Haematology Day Treatment Unit, aka DTU, at Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Ruth Charity, the Arts Coordinator for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has been instrumental in delivering the arts strategy. The Cancer Centre opened in March 2009 & was delivered by the Churchill Construction Consortium and designed by Steffian Bradley Architects.
The art project is currently in production and installation is starting on site this coming weekend.
The project brief described the unit as: “Between 70 -90 patients/day attend the Day Treatment Unit requiring treatment for varying malignancies and benign blood disorders. The treatment regimens (e.g. chemotherapy / blood transfusions) can be complex & lengthy, taking anything from 30 minutes to several hours, with some patients attending twice a week and others once every three weeks. The Day Treatment Unit consists of one long horseshoe-shaped room,accommodating 12 beds & 30 chairs. Currently there is little artwork on the walls and there is little of interest for patients to view. The windows are very high so there is no opportunity for patients to look out and thus no sense of what the weather is like or even what season it is. As a space, which patients visit on a regular basis, it offers little to lift the tedium of repeat visits”.
The aims of the project were :
to create a more welcoming, positive and inviting feel to the Chemotherapy suite;
to create new work that will provide some distraction for patients undergoing treatment;
to create new work that responds to the architecture and interior design of the space and unifies the space;
to create new work that is created with sensitivity to patients and those working in and visiting the department;
to create work that responds to the art programme theme of landscape: bringing the outside in;
to create work that is easy to clean, meets infection control standards and requires little or no maintenance
I have worked at the Cancer Centre previously within the adjacent Chemotherapy Waiting Room, where a large triptych – an architectural glass artwork, originally commissioned for the old Oncology Unit by GBS Architects, had been re-sited successfully as a screen between the patient waiting room and clinical offices and corridor. This work was further enhanced by digitally printed optically clear vinyl installed on all interior glazing panels within the waiting area by VGL Ltd. I will post an archive review of this project in due course under the heading ‘Chemotherapy Waiting Room’.
The DTU project was initiated with a two day residency during which I talked to staff and engaged with patients. The delivery of treatments make this a very sensitive place to observe and great care was taken to be as unobtrusive as possible. There has been an ongoing process of engagement & he staff have been a continual joy to work alongside. Their collective upbeat and supportive collaboration has made this project particularly special for me. The key staff, who smoothed the progress of the project throughout have been: Eliz Flanagan – Lead Chemotherapy Nurse, Jane Skelly – Chemotherapy Specialist Nurse and Moira Cunningham – Sister, Oncology and Haematology Outpatients. Other members of the Champions Group who informed my work & engagement within the department are: Claire Tasker – supporter, Julie Bourchier – former patient & Liz Creak – former patient.
Initially I produced a to-scale model of the interior ‘island’, a cluster of rooms around which I was to base the installation. The idea was to create an interior landscape, or vista which almost felt as though the trees and plants were overhanging the space, creating an abstract misty glade to look into.
We have been working alongside Carly Birkett, Account Manager at VGL, Reading who have collaborated on the design production, manufacture and installation planning for the project. We have had small scale sample panels produced and installed within the unit for a number of weeks to gain feedback from staff and user groups. Following this period, the detailed design was revised and re-issued for comment.
The core members of the project team with whom I collaborated on the project are:
Tom Cox – Project Manager, Artscape, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Mental Health Division
Mark Bateman – Capital Development Manager, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Britta MacDonald – Senior Assertive Outreach Worker, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Michelle Harding – Head of Adult Acute Pathway, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Neil Flint – Commercial Services Manager, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Architen Landrell, who manufactured and installed the tensile screen, sent me their project images this week. Some of these I hadn’t seen before, so am now posting for the first time.
They show the fabric installation in progress and the steel frame attached the columns in the Central Concourse. The concept for the work was determined by the need for the fabric to create a privacy screen between the main thoroughfare and hub of the Central Concourse & the clinical corridor which ran adjacent to it, without compromising the architectural space or blocking light.
Text was used as both a textural device and a narrative with which to lead the viewer through the work. Text came from two primary sources. The Hospital provided a great archive through which to trawl. A good deal of this was in the form of written accounts of service by retired staff. The other source was form an ex US Servicemen, Sidney A. Smith MD, who had served as a doctor at Musgrove Park during WWII. His book, A History of Musgrove Military Hospital During World War II and The 67th General Hospital, was a fascinating account of the early years and origins of the Hospital. Sidney Smith had very kindly allowed me access to his photographs & images during my time working a lead artist at Musgrove Park. Some of this text is below: “A Royal Visit by H.M Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on Thursday, 19th November 1959, was a great occasion for Taunton. The town was gaily decorated, church bells pealed, and, despite the dismal weather forecast, the spirit of the people was at its brightest. Following the reception at the Station, H.M. Queen Elizabeth left for the Musgrove Park Branch of the Taunton & Somerset Hospital, where on arrival, she was presented with a posy of orchids, pink rosebuds and lilies of the valley”. “The 67th General Hospital adopted a banner, which bore images of a Pine tree and a cactus plant to symbolize the Maine contingent of doctors and nurses joined with the enlisted men who were mostly from Texas and Oklahoma”. “We used to have Sunflower competitions at the back of x-ray. Seeds would be planted and ingenious methods of support would be rigged, much to the amusement of both staff and patients”. “From the beginning of my time here we had the National Uniform, classic navy blue for the Sisters and light blue for the Staff Nurses and of course you had your belt, which kept many a waistline under control. We were quick to abandon the paper hats, although the sisters were more reluctant to lose their frilly hats and sleeves. Everyone knew who you were because of the uniform you wore”.