Tag Archives: Artist Commission

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies refer to Thames Sailing Barges (aka Medway Barges or Rochester Sailing Barges or Spritsail Barges), which were built at Rochester and more specifically to the the trades they carried out. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Huge mounds of glass bottles recorded on the Rochester Riverside site, north of Blue Boar Creek, are a result of this domestic waste being brought up the Medway from the capital. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities.

“Russet Brown & Ochre Sails with Various devices Emblazoned” Edgar J Marsh. ‘Spritsail Barges of the Thames and Medway’. 1948

Draft design for a granite paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The granite units will be manufactured in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Granite square tile with a sandblasted letter B. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Detail of sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I am proposing to make 24 artwork units in either cast iron or granite, with inlaid & sandblasted detail. The units will be embedded into paving within or adjacent to the threshold entrances to all Apartment blocks and to the footpaths of all the central and riverside designated housing. I want these works with their accompanying text and drawings to be seen each day as people cross the thresholds between the public realm and the private home. This site was an industrious place for hundreds of years, providing and creating the wealth upon which Rochester grew into a powerful and beautiful cathedral city. It’s wealth however, is not only in the grand and the elevated. The everyday, the matter of fact, the local and colloquial have all contributed over time to this place leaving a rich social and community-led legacy through the people whose livelihoods were centred on this fascinating site next to the River Medway. Shipbuilding, Sailmaking, Gasworks, Railways, Livestock Market, Transport, Fishing, Metal and Aggregate Trades and Market Gardening have all at various times left an indelible and tangible mark on this place, as have the domestic residences, pubs, shops and small businesses such as:

Henry Allen – Dealer in Building Materials

Jane Weaver – Milliner

Joseph Anderson – Clay Pipe Maker

George Millar – Wheelwright and Coach Builder

Ebenezer Baird – Tailor

…all of Rochester Common.

Detail of cast iron paving slab with low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The images above shows a single panel manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry immediately after casting, when the surface is a gun-metal colour and then after a couple of weeks outside, where the colour is more akin to Corten steel.

The actual finish will be almost black, as the cast iron will eventually be treated with nitric acid to prevent further weathering.

There was an Iron Foundry on the site up to the 19th Century. HALLS IRON FOUNDRY was founded in 1785 and worked form premises adjacent to Cory’s Creek on Blue Boar Lane.  In the 1918 Directory of Manufacturers in England, James Hall & Son Ltd are listed as trading as T/A Hall’s Foundry. Tel. Chatham 169.

Cast Iron items such a pavement drains can still be see bearing the makers name in the streets surrounding the site.

James Hall & Son Cast Ltd. Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft design for a cast iron paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

BELVEDERE was the name of a Locomotive (a sentinel geared vertical boilered tank engine) that worked at William Cory’s Coal Yard and Cory’s Wharf. She was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) in 1945 & worked at Cory’s Wharf from 1950 to 1957 & is now at the Northampton Ironstone Museum. Belvedere was one of four Locomotives working in the yard – Thalia, Telemon and Greenwich being the others.

Detail of cnc milled model board for cast iron slab showing low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The original models for the cast iron units are being manufactured by Arthur Jackson & Co Ltd in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Plan of Rochester Riverside Phases 1 & 2, showing proposed sites for artwork as red or blue dots. Image: Christopher Tipping

I had researched the whole Rochester Riverside site and so have an enormous resource of material to draw upon. For the first two Phases of delivery however, we are focussing on site specific references relevant to the locality.

The following images show some of the draft artwork we may have to work with for the delivery of future Phases.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Ross family were Shipbuilders working out of Acorn Yard on Rochester Riverside. Following the death of her husband Charles Ross in 1808 leaving her a widow with seven children, Mary Ross  took on the running of the yard. This was highly unusual for a woman at this time.

These are the ships built by Mary Ross following the death of her husband Charles.

Vigo: 1810 / 74 Guns / Broken up 1867

Goodwill:

Stirling Castle: 1811 / 74 Guns / Hulk in 1839

Thistle: 1812 / Gun Brig / 12 guns / broken up 1832

Epervier: 1812 / 18 Guns

Eridanus: 1813 / 36 Guns

Confiance: 1813 / Cruizer Class / broken up 1832

Tanais: 1813 / 38 Guns / built of Fir / broken up 1819

HMS Fury: 1814 / Bomb Vessel / Lost 1825

HMS Fury was launched in 1814 and was one of Captain Parry’s two ‘Discovery Ships surveying for the Hudson Bay Company. Fury was converted to an Arctic exploration ship. Commander William Edward Parry commissioned her in December 1820 She then made two journeys to the Arctic, both in company with her sister ship, Hecla. Her second Arctic voyage ended in disaster. She was damaged by ice while overwintering and was abandoned on 25 August 1825, at what has since been called Fury Beach on Somerset Island on the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

William Higham had a Barge Building business on Blue Boar Hard. He was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27th October 1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood, nr, Rochester. By 1881 they had 9 children and they lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. William employed 11 men and 7 boys. THE FIVE BROTHERS was the last Barge built at this yard alongside DOROTHY in 1901.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants. He was also an Alderman & Shipowner. He had ten children with his wife Katherine who he had married on February 25th 1832 at St Margaret’s Church in Rochester. Fred was Mayor of Rochester in 1855. Furrell’s Wharf – a 30m length of post and plank revetment of Oak and Elm Posts, most likely made from re-used ships timbers was in use in 1865 making it one of the oldest sites for industry on Rochester Riverside. It was accessed via Furrell’s Road.

His name also lived on as ‘Furrells Pond’, “where children swam and skated in Icy weather – The site flooded during exceptionally high tides” . Edwin Harris

 Furrells Wharf was also the destination of many travelling shows, menageries and circuses – such as Wombwells Wild Beasts & Edmonds Menagerie – George Sangers Circus, Pinder’s Circus, Middletons’ Marionettes. 

 

 

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

Hydrotherapy Pool North Screen in production at Proto Studios

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Work is now in progress at the brilliant Proto Glass Studios on the first stage of screen printing ceramic colour for of the NORTH SCREEN. We are collaborating with Proto Studios, specialist Architectural Glass Decorators on the production of 46sqm of screen printed, sandblasted & etched architectural glass screens for the new Hydrotherapy Pool & Therapies Unit for the RUH and RNHRD in Bath commissioned by Art at the Heart. The artwork is presented as an abstracted landscape running over both the North & the East Screens of the Pool Room – a way of encapsulating all disparate elements that have inspired my work into something engaging for the viewer, which will changes throughout the day in response to levels of daylight and direct sun.

Both the RUH & RNHRD Hospital sites were originally set in, and adjacent to open fields and expansive views of countryside. Easy to imagine then how beneficial this must have been to those patients and staff who experienced this.

It is now commonly understood that exposure to natural spaces, planting and nature within medical and healing environments is of great benefit and assists in the recovery and positive experience of patients and staff alike .

This landscape is populated with recognisable motifs, such as flowers, deer and trees, woven together with abstracted forms and simple repeating patterns. Local landmarks such as Kelston Round Hill also feature, as do references to the architectural decoration and built heritage of The Min and its archaic Roman Mosaics. However, the most visible motif perhaps is water, and more explicitly, the gestural movement of water as shaped by those taking treatment in the Hydrotherapy Pool. A shape made in water informed by the movement of a hand or leg. Abstractions of steam or mist appear to hover in this landscape. Water is contained within a bowl or pool. An elegant but dynamic abstract splash of water drifts across the whole of the East Screen. The connection to hot springs and flowing waters has shaped Bath into the World Heritage Site we see today.

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Production at Proto Studios. Image: Christopher Tipping

Dorset County Hospital – the new Cancer Unit Glazing Artwork

Image: Draft artwork with re-imagined stones by Christopher Tipping 2018

I have been commissioned to create artwork to be digitally printed onto optically clear vinyl for the external glazing of the new Cancer Unit at Dorset County Hospital. Dorset’s pioneering new cancer unit is under construction and is due to be delivered in 2018. It is being built and operated jointly by Poole and Dorset HospitalsMy approach has been framed by a research trip I made back in June 2008 to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and to Dorchester Museums Archive Collections and the Natural History Museum in London.

Image: Christopher Tipping- Jurassic Coast Dorset 2008

Image: Christopher Tipping- Display Box of Microfossils, Dorset County Museum 2008

Image: Found objects and natural abstractions for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Unit by Christopher Tipping

Ten years ago I created artwork for wayfinding and inlaid bespoke floor coverings for the corridors of the main hospital buildings and also for Maiden Castle House, which provides Psychiatric Services for the Trust. This original body of work, completed in 2010 was considered a resonant starting point for this new project in 2018 and has been instrumental in underpinning the artwork created for the Cancer Unit.

Alex Coulter, former Arts Manager, Arts in Hospital writing in 2008 said –

‘The artist, Chris Tipping, researched and recorded geological structures, fossils and land forms along the Jurassic coast as the basis for his designs. He made drawings on the coast and in Dorset County Museum’s collections and talked to geologists based at Southampton University to help inform his ideas.  Chris was interested in the idea that the floors in the hospital could be interpreted as the layers or strata of the coast with fossil like patterns embedded in them and fragments and elements emerging where different layers meet. They are inlaid into the floor at key areas such as lift thresholds and at the top of staircases to help with wayfinding while smaller elements break up long expanses of corridor. It was Chris’s idea to curve the edges of the flooring and to reveal sections of designs rather as you might see a fragment in the cliff. The technology used is sophisticated with laser cutting creating elements which fit together with no need for sealant in-between. His designs enliven what would otherwise be vast expanses of plain flooring and contribute to making the hospital environment more stimulating and appealing for patients – a healing environment’.

 

The following text was taken from the 2018 project brief by Alex Murdin, Arts Manager, Arts in Hospital, at Dorset County Hospital.

‘Initial consultation with patients and staff suggested that the theme of the Cancer Unit artworks should evolve around nature and light, “Letting in the Light”. Medical and psychological evidence is strong that natural images, textures, patterns and light are all beneficial for wellbeing and recovery . Contact with Nature has been reported to have psychological benefits by reducing stress, improving attention, by having a positive effect on mental restoration, and by coping with attention deficits.

Natural light is important to healing and wellbeing and patients with views of open spaces get better faster. As the views from the new Cancer Unit will be limited to other hospital buildings and urban Dorchester, art can provide an alternative view for patients through translucent imagery of landscape and natural forms on windows. The window vinyls must in any case screen off views of the interior from outside by passers-by and occupiers of adjacent buildings, as necessary for patient’s actual and perceived privacy and confidentiality without the need for blinds and the accompanying loss of light’.

Dorset’s pioneering new cancer unit is under construction and due to be delivered in 2018 is being built and operated jointly by Poole and Dorset Hospitals. It will deliver world class health care for our local communities. The project will develop cancer facilities for patients all across Dorset and bring radiotherapy services to Dorchester for the first time. The new facilities will be life-changing, particularly for people who have previously had to travel long distances for radiotherapy services in Poole.

The unit will serve people of all ages, who have been diagnosed with cancer as well as their families. Patients who use this service are likely to be distressed and for some people, they may be living with a terminal diagnosis. The unit will be home to new linear accelerators (LINAC) – the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. It will be a multi-functional space offering life changing radiotherapy, consulting rooms and counselling rooms. The unit will also be used by support groups. The unit is being funded Dorset County Hospital Charity, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (DCHFT), Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and with a major legacy from the photographer Robert White, a local man who died from cancer in 2015′. 

Image: Draft Artwork for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Unit by Christopher Tipping

Image: Draft Artwork – Found & re-imagined stones for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Unit by Christopher Tipping

Image: Draft artwork for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Unit by Christopher Tipping