Here is a selection:
Laser-cut stainless steel panels – affixed to the building elevation.
24th January 2015
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England was supposed to be doing the honours today at the Official Opening of the Jubilee Building, but for unforeseen reasons he couldn’t come !
His place was taken by the local MP Jeremy Browne, who was able to stand in at very short notice. I am sure that everyone was disappointed not to have the head honcho in attendance. Everyone has worked incredibly hard on the project, from the Trusts’s Capital Projects team, BDP Architects and BAM to medical and ancillary staff. However, it was a lovely day all round and the weather was perfect for showing off the building.
This was the first time that I had seen both my projects – ‘70 years on…” & ‘Murmuration’ fully installed. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to see them. The Art for Life team, led by Lisa Harty have done an amazing job in co-ordinating and presenting the work. I am very grateful to them.
From left to right – Chris Cutting from the League of Friends, Colin Drummond, Chair of the Trust, Jo Cubbon, Chief Executive Officer & Jeremy Browne MP
Digital Printing onto vinyl mesh fabric applied to a stainless steel and aluminium ladder frame to create the tensile screen.
I have been invited to the official opening of the Jubilee Building at Musgrove Park Hospital on Friday 23rd January 2015 –
I was commissioned on several projects in relation to the new building as well as being involved with the Trust as Lead Artist for almost 10 years, throughout their 10 year programme of regeneration and new build.
‘Murmuration’ and ’70 years on…’ are two of the projects now completed & installed in the building. These have both featured in detail in earlier posts here. Please scroll down to review –
13th November 2014, Ramsgate
’70 years on…’ CENTRAL CONCOURSE SCREEN FOR THE JUBILEE BUILDING, MUSGROVE PARK HOSPITAL
I recently came across the work of the photographer, John Seaman, who had been commissioned by the main contractor for the Jubilee Building BAM to make a photographic record. Very lucky for me, that he has a great eye for catching the spirit & intent of the tensile artwork and its relationship to the building and interior space. ’70 years on…’ was a collaboration with Architen Landrell & VGL Vinyl Graphics & was commissioned by Musgrove Park Hospital Capital Projects Office & Art for Life
The Central Concourse Screen ’70 years on…’ was created to celebrate the delivery of the Jubilee Surgical Building & the 70th Anniversary of Musgrove Park Hospital. The project was Heritage Lottery funded.
The work is presented as a digitally printed tensile fabric screen made of 26 individually printed panels. It is supported by a bespoke lightweight aluminium & stainless steel double-sided ladder frame 21m x 1.8m, which is itself hung from 3 steel supporting columns of the Central Concourse building. The design & manufacture of the tensile screen and its method of digital printing balance well with the content of the work & its evocation of the past to present a contemporary artwork in a 21st Century Hospital.
The artwork is presented as a landscape, which, other than at each end, where curved steel panels protect the structure, the artwork can be viewed as a continual narrative sequence. However, this is not a timeline or a linear narrative, which has to be viewed in a particular way or from a particular viewpoint. The observer can simply roll up at any point along its 42m length and begin a journey or their own.
Text was employed in the design as both an aid to the visual narrative & to emphasize the importance of the hospital’s archive collection in this 70th Anniversary year. It also recalls individual and collective voices from the last 70 years. The work done by Louise Donovan, an archivist working with staff and patients past and present to recall their experiences working here has been included in “Sensing our Past”. 70 years of Musgrove Park Hospital’, published in 2012
Words have been used to draw with, or to conjure up the dynamic energy of the hospital. It is presented in a variety of ways, for example, following the line of the Galmington Stream, which runs along the boundary of the Hospital, or as a gestural expression, such as the whirlwind vortex drawing, or a simple circle of fine white text.
They are an eclectic and often mis-matched set of words, evocative of half remembered memories, anecdotes and stories, (as opposed to reproducing hard facts and figures within a fixed timeline). There are perhaps more ‘distant’ voices from early in the life of the hospital, particularly from it’s wartime experience, but I feel this is the way with memory – recall is distant and suggestive of the ‘good old days’.
Some elements within the artwork are obviously and easily recognizable, such as the iconic Eisenhower Tree & Galmington Stream, whilst others are abstract and elusive. A great number of the references are archival in origin, such as the colours, which were influenced by boxes of medical artifacts, some in the original packaging.
Bunches of flowers appear from between the seam joints, which evoke the Lily of the Valley presented to HM The Queen Mother or flowers given by visitors, which were held in vases attached to columns in the Nightingale wards.
The photographic archive too, which contains hundreds of images of staff at work and celebrating events such as Christmas & retirements, as well as visits by Royalty, or the American World Heavyweight Boxer, Joe Louis and the entertainer Bob Hope, who both visited the Hospital during World War II.
My own personal experience of being a part of this Hospital community since 2005, when I was appointed Lead Artist on the 10 year Hospital development programme is also evident in magery influenced by past projects undertaken here.
I have been associated with Musgrove Park Hospital since 2005, when I was appointed as Lead Artist for External Spaces, a role specifically commissioned to influence the design process of the Hospital Trust’s 10 year development plan, particularly in regard to external landscape. It resulted in a Design Vision document issued in 2006. This project was managed on behalf of the Trust, by the Art for Life Co-ordinator, Bronwen Gwillim, with whom I collaborated until 2012, when she left the post.
The ‘Murmuration’ project, which has just been manufactured & installed by Taunton Fabrications is one element of a wider interpretive art project I made in response to the development & construction of the new Jubilee Building Surgical Unit for Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust at Musgrove Park Hospital.
This new build project was managed by Steven Power, Senior Project Manager, Capital Projects Office on behalf of Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. The building was delivered by BAM Construction and designed by BDP Architects. It opened in April 2014.
I was commissioned for this particular project back in January 2010. The proposals for ‘Murmuration’, stood alongside other work I was asked to undertake on the project during this period which included:
The patterning, colour and proportion of the zinc panelled external elevations of the new building.
The 70th Anniversary Central Concourse Screen artwork, which certainly needs a better title than this ! See: http://christophertipping.co.uk/category/central-concourse-musgrove-park-hospital/
Hoardings artwork for the new building during its 2 years on site. Some images posted below.
Creative collaboration & input into the E Tree Panel Project, which used the timber from the iconic Eisenhour Tree planted during WWII (which had to be removed to enable the new build) to create a wall based artwork for the interior of the building.
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”.
The Jubilee Building Central Concourse Project at Musgrove Park Hospital has now completed on site and the new surgical building was fully opened on 7th April 2014.
This art commission was led by Steven Power, Senior Project Manager for Capital Projects at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton along with Architects BDP and Contractor BAM. Specialist contractors Architen Landrell, Metafab Solutions Ltd and Digital Printers VGL were all integral to the success of the design & production. Bronwen Gwillim, formally Art Co-ordinator of Art for Life at the Hospital initially led the commissioning and early stages of the art project in 2012, and handed over to Lisa Harty in her new role as Arts Co-ordinator to oversee its completion.
The tensile artwork, funded by the Heritage Lottery celebrates the completion of the Jubilee Building as well as commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Hospital originally founded as a US Field Hospital in World War Two. I worked with the Hospital archive and the archivist Louise Donovan as well as bringing my own experience to bear, having been associated with the Hospital for the last 7 years and Lead Artist on a number of projects.