Formalities aside, it was a great day and I was very touched and proud to have been involved in the project . The weather was pretty glorious on the day – so the glazing appeared at its very best., reflecting perfectly off the pool surface and creating the most beautiful backdrop for the day’s events. Positive comments all round was a great sign that the project had been a collaborative & creative success. A massive thanks to Art at the Heart and especially to the efforts of Hetty Dupays, Art and Design Manager and her brilliant team.
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.
Our work with David & Richard at Proto Studios in Pewsey, Wiltshire has now come to an end.
Sadly, this week saw our final visit to Proto Glass Studios to see the completed glazing sealed units before they leave to be installed in the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. The new unit is being delivered by Kier Group with IBI Group Architects. This artwork production of 46sqm of beautifully decorated and finished, screen-printed, sandblasted & etched artwork manufactured by Proto Studios, which will enhance the architectural curtain wall glass screens for the new Hydrotherapy Pool within the Therapies Unit was commissioned by Art at the Heart. A massive thank you to David & Richard Proto and all the glass technicians at Proto Studios who had a highly skilled hand in delivering this work. It has been a really rewarding collaboration.
The panels are due to be installed in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed for a hassle free installation…watch this space!
Above: Safe in skilled hands…glass technicians carefully present each of the 18 double glazed sealed units for us to see.
Working with David and Richard at Proto Glass Studios is always a delight. What they do is exemplary and they work hard to collaborate in achieving the very best outcome for the artwork and the artist.
My visit to their workshops near Pewsey in Wiltshire on Thursday last week was a catch up on progress after Christmas. I had made a visit previously to this before Christmas along with clients from ‘Art at the Heart’at the RUH, which has still not been posted.
All the glass panels have now been printed & etched. They were then sent away for toughening – a heat process, where the glass is tempered in a furnace to temperatures close to 600 degrees C and then cooled rapidly. Following this process, the glass can be sandblasted with additional layers of detail. Once completed, the panels will finally be made into sealed units for delivery to site and installation.
The architectural glass screens total some 46sqm of glazing. However, the screens are made up of double sealed units – two panels of glass with a gap in-between. This has allowed us to apply decoration to both panes of glass within the same sealed unit. The panel above, for example is 2500mm x 1217mm x 10.8mm. This is the largest size. There are 18 apertures in the North and East screens combined – larger spaces below and smaller spaces above with a double sealed unit in each – so a total of 36 individual panels of glass have been decorated. 18 of this total have also been laminated to another clear pane of glass. Proto have prepared and decorated all of this glass. They have handled of these elements with great skill and care.
Weeding out the stencils following sandblasting.
Weeding-out stencils, cleaning and brushing away, following sandblasting of the ceramic colour screenprint.
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.
I imagined an abstracted landscape as a positive way of encapsulating all that has inspired my commission for the Hydrotherapy Pool glazed screens. (There are approximately 46sqm of glass combined in both screens).
Both 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 glass landscape is populated with recognisable motifs, such as flowers, deer and trees, woven together with abstract forms and repeating patterns. Local landmarks such asKelston Round Hillalso feature, as do references to the architectural decoration and built heritage of The Minand 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.
I have been so impressed with the positivity and care of the medical staff delivering these services, I wanted to evoke this caring nature with visual clues within the work, which may express this. Growing flowers and creating gardens is a nurturing vocation. Water is an elemental part of this. Historically, The Min was built upon the grounds of the first Theatre in Bath, and the later extension built upon the formal gardens of Rectory House. Adjacent to the ChapeI at the rear of The Min is a small but lovely garden. Also in Bath, Gibbes Garden was a 15th Century apothecary garden growing medicinal herbs.
Combe Park had formerly been the site of the Bath War Hospital built in 1916 to provide beds and medical services for WW1 Casualties. There was a small pond and a stream ran nearby. Patients and staff were encouraged to grow and maintain flower gardens & were rewarded with prizes.
I was offered a session at the Hydrotherapy Pool at The Min as a way of understanding a little more about the impact of water as a treatment. I am not a patient – I cannot experience this as many do on a daily basis, not I am I in the process of healing or tempering acute conditions. Patients vary from those with lifelong conditions, such as Ankylosing spondylitis and others suffering from chronic pain, to physiotherapy in the pool following operations or broken limbs. All I can aim for is to add to the interior space with something visually interesting / beautiful / stimulating to this brand-new environment, which makes the experience for both staff and patients a pleasant and perhaps an intriguing one.
The following images make up the final draft artwork approved for production by the RUH. The Magenta/Pink colour is used to indicate clear/fully transparent glazing with no artwork. White represents sandblasting and / or Ceramic Etch techniques. All other colour is created using Screen-printed Ceramic Colour fired onto the glass. The artwork is applied to the two inner faces of a double glazed sealed unit. There is a subtle overlaying of motifs, which means that the artwork is slightly different as seen from the interior, than the exterior. These drafts are created initially via hand drawing and assembled and finished in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.