Tag Archives: Christopher Tipping

Chatham Placemaking Project – SEATING Part Two

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

Working with Andrew Lapthorn has been amazing. We have collaborated really well. He has done ALL the hard work. His craftsmanship is of the highest quality. The timber elements he has contributed to the project are artworks in their own right and I can’t wait to see them all installed. I know for a fact that he has been documenting his process throughout the project and that he has some amazing images. I am really hoping to get my hands on them and bask in his reflected glory.

He did in fact let a few images slip from his grasp – and they are reproduced here.

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I showed the image above in the last post, but needed to upload again so you can make sense of the images to follow. This shows a single plank of elm being bent to shape over the formwork. The radius laminate seat involves laminating and bending 45 individual layers of English Elm to create the final work. Each layer may contain up to 3 or 4 individual cut planks of timber. The effect of this is to create not only a robust and highly engineered structure, but a sculptural object with beautiful aesthetics, colour variation and flow.

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Chatham Placemaking Project – SEATING Part One

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Lower Railway Street, Chatham. Monolithic Granite & English Elm seating. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I have been working in collaboration with Andrew Lapthorn Furniture  on a series of 6 monolithic granite and English Elm seats to be positioned at key anchor points within the streetscape of our Chatham Placemaking Project.

Andrew is a furniture designer and maker. He has a workshop within the Historic Dockyard Chatham. It is almost impossible to consider the historic and social fabric of Chatham without the Dockyard playing a major role. We have consulted with Nigel Howard, Historic Environment and Buildings Manager for the Dockyard throughout the project and have been granted access to their archives and buildings. They have been very generous in their support. When Nigel was made aware we were proposing to work with Andrew on the project he made a very generous gift to the project of seasoned timber, free of charge from the historic Timber Seasoning Sheds. Nigel had also generously offered us some monolithic slabs of granite, which have great historic resonance to our project, which we have unfortunately not been in a position to use as yet – but never say never !

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The quality of some of these images is poor I’m afraid, but the content is pretty amazing…the interiors of the seasoning sheds have an otherworldly feel about them. These buildings were erected in 1775, to provide the Admiralty with at least 3 years of timber. Andrew unearthed some massive planks of English Elm. The age of the timber was hard to discern. Andrew thinks it may have been here for decades as least. The actual tree or trees they were cut or salvaged from could have been well over a century old before felling or being toppled through the effects of storm damage.

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Andrew Lapthorn.

 

As with all creative proposals, we have been through various iterations, responded to challenges and made changes along the way. The following images relate to this design and creative process and show the evolution of the work and some of the outcomes on the street.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

 

In 2016, during the early concept and development stages of the project, I had proposed this series of benches as a way of exploring the relationship between the significant building materials of the Historic Dockyard and the materials and contextual ideas being explored along out project route through Chatham Town.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating with Chatham Patterns, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping & Xtina Lamb

 

 

The Chatham Patterns were a significant part of our concept to develop a distinct and site specific visual language for the streetscape and our creative public realm work. I collaborated with Xtina Lamb, Printmaker on this work. In this instance, the patterns were to be sandblasted into the honed surface of the monolithic granite blocks by Hardscape.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating with Chatham Patterns, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

 

Andrew responded to these early draft ideas and we discussed incorporating traditional techniques for creating large scale joints and methods for joining and connecting timber, which would be suggestive and resonant of shipbuilding in Chatham, as well as exploring advances in technology such as laminating and bending timber. These are his drawings – & his hands…

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

In early November 2018, FrancisKnight and I visited Andrew at his workshop to see progress on the benches. I was blown away by the beauty and craftsmanship around me. The English Elm has the most wonderful patterns and figures in the grain. There was even half a face staring our at me. We were really so impressed. The work was solid, beautiful, resonant and robust, which is just as well as life as a street bench is tough !

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

I couldn’t resist creating a mirror image – a portrait in English Elm.

 

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

 

 

CHATHAM RAILWAY STATION

£1.4m Chatham station regeneration gets underway…

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

‘Medway Council successfully secured £700,000 from the government’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to contribute towards the £1.4m upgrade, with Network Rail match-funding the windfall through its National Station Improvement Programme’. Medway Council

This was great news to see this project being promoted on Linkedin this week by Medway Council. Following the near completion of public realm works and embedded public art along Railway Street and Military Road, including New Cut, St John’s Steps and Military Square, Chatham Railway Station is now about to undergo its long awaited regeneration too, at the head of our works as part of the Chatham Placemaking Project.  

I made one of the first posts about Chatham Station on this blog back in September 2015 in the very early stages of our research and contextual work on the project. Click on this link for more information

Chatham Railway Station 2015. Image: Christopher Tipping

Chatham Railway Station 1910. Historic Image: by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

Chatham Railway Station – Date unknown. Historic Image: Copyright of and by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre – Couchman Collection

Chatham Railway Station – Date unknown. Image: Copyright and by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre – Couchman Collection.

 

Many draft proposals and developments of conceptual and contextually based responses to the site were developed and considered. The final detailed designs for public art interventions were presented to Medway Council and their partners Network Rail in January 2018. This work dovetails with works already carried out and continues themes and material choices and finishes established at the outset of the scheme.

The following images highlight the proposals we put forward at the beginning of 2018.

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 1. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 2. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 3. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 4. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 5. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 6. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 7. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 8. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 9. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 10. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 11. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 12. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 13. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 14. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 15. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 16. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 17. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 18. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

THESE ARE OUR STREETS for the Chatham Placemaking Project. Image & Artwork: Simon Williams. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS Part Three – final

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS  Part Three…! We have always planned to create a magazine or booklet…some form of printed publication or other, with which to celebrate and record our progress, our ideas, the stuff that got away…but mostly our collaboration with each other and with the people along our route. We may still be able to deliver this a a hard-copy paper publication at some point in the future, as a way or marking the project – or as an online event.

The following images will show you part of our journey to create the draft and concepts for the work you can now see embedded into the pavements of Railway Street and Military Square. The content has been generated in collaboration with other artists and creatives, commissioned to deliver specific aspects of our work, but who directly and indirectly contributed so brilliantly to the outcome. FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants, Rob Young – Writer, Xtina Lamb – Printmaker, Simon Williams – Filmmaker & Paul Baker – Graphic Designer.

Draft Magazine – Pages 34 & 35 FINAL : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Group Photograph by FrancisKnight. Chatham Patterns by Xtina Lamb

Above Image: From left to right – Xtina Lamb, Christopher Tipping, Simon Williams, Rob Young at a project meeting in Rochester with FrancisKnight, September 2016

 

 

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Graphic Designer Paul Baker with writer Rob Young devised these Playing Cards posters carrying anecdotal, conversational or overheard words on the streets of Chatham

 

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Fictional Heroes of Chatham are a series of fictional stories about Chatham’s past by our project writer Rob Young developed in response to time spent walking and talking on the streets of Chatham.

The fictional story below is about a Chatham Hero, Davey Pitt, who worked on the New Cut Viaduct

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 26 & 27 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 28 & 29 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

A CIRCLE OF WORDS IN A MILITARY SQUARE 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V1A : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V3 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 30 & 31 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Archive Photograph by kind permission of MALSC

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 30 & 31 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Artwork & Text by Rob Young

Draft Magazine – Pages 34 & 35 FINAL : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Group Photograph by FrancisKnight. Chatham Patterns by Xtina Lamb

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS Part Two

THESE ARE OUR STREETS  Part Two…CHATHAM UP ! We have always planned to create a magazine or booklet…some form of printed publication or other, with which to celebrate and record our progress, our ideas, the stuff that got away…but mostly our collaboration with each other and with the people along our route. We may still be able to deliver this a a hard-copy paper publication at some point in the future, as a way or marking the project – or as an online event.

The following images will show you part of our journey to create the draft and concepts for the work you can now see embedded into the pavements of Railway Street and Military Square. The content has been generated in collaboration with other artists and creatives, commissioned to deliver specific aspects of our work, but who directly and indirectly contributed so brilliantly to the outcome. FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants, Rob Young – Writer, Xtina Lamb – Printmaker, Simon Williams – Filmmaker & Paul Baker – Graphic Designer.

Draft Magazine – Optional Cover: CHATHAM UP. Image: Christopher Tipping

The yellow cover was the first logo and layout we created…the inspiration for this as well as the overall style and approach to the magazine concept came from looking at archive print magazines and periodicals at the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre in Strood. We were drawn to copies of CHATS magazine – the Chatham Port Division Magazine from 1955.

The A5 size and very distinctive 1950’s advertising inside were just what we were looking for.

CHATS Magazine – The Chatham Port Division Magazine. Volume 8, April 1955 Volume . By Kind Permission of MALSC

 

It can’t really be a surprise that such a massive military and naval presence in Chatham was serviced by local outfitters. What is interesting is that so many of these had businesses on Military Road and Railway Street. At the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, there is a collection of print magazines and periodicals. An amazing selection of adverts for military and civilian outfitters are contained within – almost all of them along our route of Railway Street and Military Road. I managed to find a copy to buy – Vol.8 April 1955 No. 2 

Amongst some that I listed were –

 

“Over a century of experience in expert tailoring of both naval and civilian outfits”. 

 

 

W.Cooper – ‘Cooperstyle’ Regimental Blazers! 56 Military Road  –

Gieves Ltd – 13 Military Road –

Unifit – 40 Military Road –

Baker & Co – 22 Railway Street – “As long as the Spirit of England Remains, we are at your service”. 

A. Fleming & Co. Outfitters Ltd Contractors to the Admiralty – 15 Railway Street –

F & H Newcombe – Military, Naval and General Outfitters – Railway Street –

C.H Bernard & Sons – Bernard Buildings, Military Road

Military Outfitters, Baker & Co. 22 Railway Street, Chatham. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping

Military Outfitters, Baker & Co. 22 Railway Street, Chatham. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping

Coopers Windows are the Talk of the Town. CHATS Magazine Vol 8 April 1955 No 2. Collection fo Christopher Tipping

Coopers Windows are the Talk of the Town. CHATS Magazine Vol 8 April 1955 No 2. Collection of Christopher Tipping

C.H Bernard & Sons Naval & Civilian Tailors and Outfitters. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping

C.H Bernard & Sons Naval & Civilian Tailors and Outfitters. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping

 

The other clear inspiration for me was the archive of Newcomb’s the tailors. They opened for business in 1854. After the original shop was demolished when the Sir John Hawkins flyover was built, the business moved along the High Street to the corner of Medway Street. Mr Gerald Newcomb is still trading as Penguins Dress HireGerald is the 7th generation to run the firm and has himself been in the industry for 45 years.

Click on this link for an earlier post I made about Newcomb’s.  Gerald gave me open access to their archives, which were amazing to see and includes the famous, Newcomb’s War Diary, surely a document of national significance.

‘The family has served the great and the good for almost 180 years. Figures such as Charles Dickens, Lord Kitchener, Lord Byron and Lord Tennyson have enjoyed the service we offer – our workrooms were a hive of activity as we created shirts for King Edward VII!’

This historic business fits into our Chatham Placemaking Project primarily because of its strong association with our route and the long association with style, craft and a strong sense of local community – Newcomb’s also had a Ladies Clothes Shop on Railway Street – the advertising for the business and associated images from their archives was inspirational.

F & H Newcomb had premises on the corner of High Street and Globe Lane and Ladies Shop on Railway Street. Image: F & H Newcomb Archive

F & H Newcomb Print Advertising. Image: By kind permission of Gerald Newcomb, F & H Newcomb Archive

 

F & H Newcomb. Associated Trade Print Advertising. Image: By kind permission of Gerald Newcomb, F & H Newcomb Archive

 

F & H Newcomb. Associated Trade Print Magazine September 1934. Image: By kind permission of Gerald Newcomb, F & H Newcomb Archive

 

F & H Newcomb. Associated Trade Print Advertising. Image: By kind permission of Gerald Newcomb, F & H Newcomb Archive

F & H Newcomb. Associated Trade Print Advertising. Image: By kind permission of Gerald Newcomb, F & H Newcomb Archive

 

…and so, back to our Magazine Pages…

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 14 & 15 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

We love Thomas Waghorn…we also appointed a performance Poet, Justin Coe, to come up with a suitably witty and succinct take on our journey down Railway Street to the River, which he performed in the street in a lively film by Simon Williams. Click here for a link to the film.   “The Overland Route c/o Thomas Waghorn’. 

 

Draft Magazine – Page 15 Option V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Page 15 Option V2 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 16 & 17 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 18 & 19 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Archive Image: Lady in Fur Coat on Military Road by Kind Permission of MALSC

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 20 & 21 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 22 & 23 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Bowl Images from Rockpanel

My great collaborators at Rockpanel have just sent me a new set of images they have commissioned of The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre at Brock, near Preston.

The wonderful images are by Daniel James Alive Photography.

I was commissioned by Guy Topping MD of Barton Grange Garden Centre to create the cnc routed artwork for the external Rockpanel rainscreen facade.

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

Rockpanel put me in touch with Barton Grange following our work with HLM Architects on their ‘Heart of the Campus’ project for Sheffield Hallam University. I was then commissioned by Guy Topping to design artwork to be integrated into the exterior cladding, which wraps the façade of the Flower Bowl. The client was keen to reference its long association with plants, trees and especially flowers. The artwork is therefore a celebration of flowers inspired not so much by botanical accuracy, rather their abstract super graphic nature at large scale, exploding like fireworks in celebration across the elevations of the building.

The façades are specified in Rockpanel Colours in RAL 7022, routed to reveal the design, which was created in collaboration with Mark Durey at The Cutting Room, Huntingdon, using Alphacam CAD CAM software.

The translation of my artwork to the end product is anything but straightforward. Mark’s intimate knowledge of the technology, combined with his experience in creative problem solving, brings an entirely bespoke method to creating the final installation. The final outcome is exceptionally accurate.

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

‘The Flower Bowl is an innovative multi-use leisure destination, which sits alongside Barton Grange Garden Centre and Barton Grange Marina at Brock, near Preston in Lancashire. 

The Topping family run the Barton Grange Group which owns and operate the Garden Centre, Marina and Flower Bowl and whose history spans back more than seventy years. The company runs several award-winning garden centres, a 4 star hotel and a widely respected and successful landscape contracting firm.

The architects for the project were Worthington Ashworth Jackson Walker (WAJW). They faced several challenges in accommodating the large number of disparate facilities with potentially conflicting requirements in close proximity. WAJW Architect Alistair Williams, “The single greatest challenge was to master the complex geometry of the vast, undulating roof and to detail this in such a way that it could be accurately replicated on site.” The 4200m2 single storey structure now features that gently undulating grass roof that, it is hoped, will eventually have sheep grazing on it’. Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

The Flower Bowl cnc routed facade artwork. Image: Daniel James Alive Photography by kind permission of Rockpanel

 

RUH Hydrotherapy Pool Artwork – What am I doing?

Drawing drafts for moving water and gestural motifs developing patterns from research at the RNHRD and RUH Hydrotherapy Units. Artist: Christopher Tipping

There are many threads of research and interest which have influenced the development and visual narrative of the artwork. The following notes and lists are from my own notebooks, where I  made records of research sessions and information which struck me as inspirational. 

The Mineral Water Hospital, affectionately known as The Min, was built in 1742 & overlooked open, ‘quiet fields’ and countryside. The Hospital was constructed on the site of Bath’s first Theatre of 1705, by the Architect George Trim, whose Mother was, apparently the sister of the Kings Architect, Inigo Jones. The theatre was demolished 1738.

This theatrical & dramatic connection has influenced the concept of using the glazed Hydrotherapy screens as inspirational painted backdrops – a way of creatively setting the scene within the new space & enhancing the experience of staff and patients using the Pool.

In 1859, with great ceremony, the foundation stone was laid for a new hospital building adjacent to the original site and built upon the grounds of a ‘large formal garden belonging to the Parsonage of St Peter Paul Parish’. This garden is shown on the John Speed map of 1610.

The new Royal United Hospital was built in open fields at Combe Park in 1932 (having moved from central Bath). 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.

Aerial view of the RUH sitting amidst green fields circa 1932 having moved to this site at Weston Manor from the centre of Bath. Image by kind permission of Bath in Time and Bath War Hospital at the RUH.

In the Building Report on The Mineral Water Hospital, by The House Historians, March 2006, there is a detailed report on The Chapel, (now the home of Bath Medical Museum)and its architectural decorations.

This mentions a number of plants seen in carvings, stained glass and other architectural details, which are wonderfully useful in referencing the legacy of The Min, when it finally closes its doors to move to the RUH site:

Ivy

Oak

Water Buttercup

Wild Poppy

Fig

Vines

White Lilies

Passion Flower

Pomegranate

Hyssop

 

Colour and pattern used within the stained glass is also influential. Patterns are influenced by the architectural decoration and tiling of The Min Chapel.

Various hydrotherapy treatments, methods and equipment as described as being newly installed in 1915 following extensive alterations, are also very evocative and inspire some abstract interpretation within my creative narrative.

 

Deep Baths

Aix and Vichy Douches

Scotch and Needle Douches

Reclining and Vapour Baths

Radiant Heat Baths

Sulpher Baths of Potassium Sulphide

Mineral Water Baths

Whirlpool Bath

Hubbard Tank to treat the entire body simultaneously

 

‘A Vichy Massage required the patient to stand on a rubber covered slab whilst showered with jets of hot mineral water. The needle bath was a circular shower with an array of horizontal pipes which sprayed fine jets of water’.

Descriptions of the Coat of Arms for the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases – to give The Min its formal & proper title, is a useful source of colour references, decorative motifs, plants, animals and their meaning.

Black

White for truth, sincerity, peace, innocence and purity

Green

Blue

Purple

Circlet of Fountains

Foxglove

Hares

Meadow Saffron

I like the colour of evening sky, that particular shade of indigo blue.

Water is by turns fluid and abstract, vaporous & ephemeral, contained within many shapes – rivers, ponds, streams, pools, baths, glasses & oceans – any number of vessels.

My creative approach is making connections between place & historic legacy, hydrotherapy practice and an imaginary landscape, which may be conjured up whilst being treated in the pool & feeling the benefits of floating & exercising, whilst being supported by warm water and the care and assistance and encouragement of staff.

‘This hospital was to be entirely self-funded, and even before the hospital was built the raising of monies for it began in earnest. Bath’s Master of Ceremonies, Richard Beau Nash arranged balls and collected subscriptions; wills, donations and even bequests of a diamond, and 1,000 oranges, contributed to the coffers. The list of donors reads like a Who’s Who of 18th century Bath society. Those who donated £40 or more were invited to become a hospital governor, including the artist William Hoare and the actor David Garrick’.

https://thebathmagazine.co.uk/finding-the-cure/

 

 

Map on framed canvas. Mrs. Oliver inscribed on reverse. Showing location of Weston Manor prior to incorporation into Royal United Hospital. Image: By kind permission Bath War Hospital at the RUH

This Estate Map above – date unknown – shows the private estate of Weston Manor before the RUH incorporated it into its site in the 20th Century.

‘The hospital moved to its present site, Combe Park, on 11 December 1932. The site had previously been used for the large First World War Bath War Hospital which opened in 1916. In November 1919 it was renamed the Bath Ministry of Pensions Hospital, which it remained until it closed in 1929.

The site was also used by the Forbes Fraser Hospital and the Bath and Wessex Orthopaedic Hospital, both founded in 1924 and which merged into the RUH about 1980. The former manor house on the site, originally medieval but remodelled in the 18th century, became an administrative building. The building is a Grade II* listed building due to its fine Adam style interior’. Wikipedia

Image: Early Draft artwork for North & East Screens. March 2018 RUH HYDROTHERAPY. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artworks: Interior detailing explored for the Hydrotherapy Pool – new Therapies Unit, RUH, Bath. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artworks: Interior detailing explored for the Hydrotherapy Pool – new Therapies Unit, RUH, Bath. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artworks: Interior detailing explored for the North Screen of the Hydrotherapy Pool – new Therapies Unit, RUH, Bath. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artworks: Interior detailing explored for the East Screen of the Hydrotherapy Pool – new Therapies Unit, RUH, Bath. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images from the RNHRD, The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images from the RNHRD, The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images from the RNHRD, Roman Mosaic from the basement excavations of The Min Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images developing patterns from research at the RNHRD, including The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images developing patterns from research at the RNHRD, including The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images developing patterns from research at the RNHRD, including The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images developing patterns from research at the RNHRD, including The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Research Images developing patterns from research at the RNHRD, including The Min Chapel. Artist: Christopher Tipping




 

All done & dusted at Rogallo Place

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place has now completed on site with all artworks successfully in place. Many thanks to Francis Knight for the usual brilliant arts management and collaboration, and to Optivo Homes for the opportunity.

A big thanks also to my  specialist manufacturers & collaborators, VGL & Hardscape for their invaluable contribution.

All images are copyright of and by Richard Gooding Photography

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Glazing Vinyl by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Hydrotherapy Pool, Royal United Hospital, Bath – new Therapies Centre

Draft Artwork: Interior with architectural glazed screens – Christopher Tipping

External draft artwork detail of the Hydrotherapy Pool. Image: Christopher Tipping

I was commissioned by Art at the Heart of the RUH in December 2017 to create artwork in response to the architectural glazing in the Hydrotherapy Pool room at the new Therapies Centre for the Royal United Hospital, Bath. These architectural glass panels are floor to ceiling glazed apertures with a combined 46.40 sq m of glass. I am working in collaboration with PROTO GLASS STUDIOS, Architectural Glass Decorators.

The project is being delivered by Kier Construction Ltd with Architects IBI Group

We have also been engaged with a large group of stakeholders, including staff and service users, some of whom have been are lifelong patients at the RNHRD & RUH. This is an ongoing process and we are taking everyone on the journey with us.

‘FLOW’

“Flow is active. It is not just the water, but it is the way our muscles are warmed and released, allowing blood to flow more freely. It is the freedom from stiffness of joints, when even a centimetre gained is a big triumph. It is active horizontally and not vertically. My spine is fully arthrosed and I cannot turn my head. This is a fundamental problem for AS patients and one of the big exercises in the pool and the gym is trying to turn and look over your shoulder without moving your body. That is flow. It is horizontal”. George Odam RNHRD Lifelong Patient with Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), speaking about his personal journey and experience of hydrotherapy treatment in 2017.

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and The Brownsword Therapies Centre (BTC)

The new RNHRD and BTC will be built close to the main entrance of the Royal United Hospital or RUH; it will be an outpatient centre providing treatment, care and education for patients to recover from episodes of illness or injury, or to manage their long-term condition. The new building will house many of the services currently located at the RNHRD (also known as The Mineral Hospital/ The Min) and the existing RUH therapies and pain management services located in RUH North, under one roof. The Centre will create a centralised and integrated space for staff to work collaboratively, delivering a holistic and patient-centred approach to care.

Old Hydrotherapy Pool, RUH Bath. Image: Christopher Tipping

Hydrotherapy Pool at The Royal Mineral Water Hospital, RNHRD, Bath, 2018. Image:Christopher Tipping

Rubber Ducks at the Hydrotherapy Pool at The Royal Mineral Water Hospital, RNHRD, Bath, 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

Objects at the Hydrotherapy Pool at The Royal Mineral Water Hospital, RNHRD, Bath, 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath. Image: Christopher Tipping

Pediment of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, Bath, aka The Min 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Min, as the RNHRD is affectionately known, has a small Medical Museum situated in the Old Chapel.  It is a fascinating collection and curated and managed by a small group of dedicated and enthusiastic people, who allowed me access to the photographic Archives. This was very much appreciated.

‘In 2012 the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases [The Mineral Hospital] opened a small museum to showcase their collection. Now, with the imminent closure of the hospital in the centre of Bath, our museum has been granted custody of the Collection of the Min, which includes records dating back to the 1740s, artefacts, the paintings and other pieces of art from around the Hospital, memorabilia, and photographs relating to rheumatology, medicine and pharmacy’

A Hubbard Tank was used for entire body treatments in Hydrotherapy. Image: Copyright & by kind permission of Bath Medical Museum, RNHRD

Patient taking a Nauheim effervescent bath, date unknown – Image: Copyright & by kind permission of Bath Medical Museum, RNHRD

Vichy spray massage treatment. Date unknown – Image: Copyright & by kind permission of Bath Medical Museum, RNHRD

Brass identity medallions worn by patients in the 18th Century. Image: Copyright & by kind permission of Bath Medical Museum, RNHRD

 

 

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