As with most of my projects I rely on creative collaboration and engagement with specialist suppliers and manufacturers. VGL are one of the best I have worked with. Their digital printing facilities are excellent, but it their outstanding collaborative skills which enable me to create work like this. The following images are from a factory visit in July 2018 to review sample production and the creation and sign off of the digital production files.
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 Hospitals. My 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.
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′.
Some brilliant new images of my project for the new Macmillan Unit at Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust have come to light. It is always refreshing to see how others see your work & the space it was created for. In this instance I was very kindly given permission by Mike Hearle, European Digital Marketing Manager for Construction Specialties – to use images from their website. Construction Specialities supplied and installed the solid timber handrails running through the unit. Take a look …the artwork was digitally printed and installed by VGL. The project was delivered by IBI Group Architects and Willis Newson, the UK’s leading arts and health consultancy.
“Rogallo Place is an extra care scheme with 63 apartments available for rent or shared ownership. FrancisKnight has commissioned artist Christopher Tipping with a brief to create art work that aids a sense of arrival to the buildings entrance. Designs are currently in production for vinyl artwork and a sculptural granite seat that reflect the historic rural and agricultural lands and the relationship with Rochester Airport that was built upon the local farmland. The Rogallo Wing is also credited which was a precursor to the modern hang glider and paraglider”. Francis Knight
Rogallo Place will provide 63 apartments – a new community will grow together here – part of the much larger new community of Horsted Park.
I am proposing that this artwork will be digitally printed on optically clear vinyl and applied to the glazing screens of the Entrance and Reception areas of the building.
I am creating abstract motifs inspired by various plans for ‘flexible wings’ such as Delta shaped airfoils and Ram-air types to create assemblies and group formations, which are intercut and mixed with drawings of plants and landscape. At a small-scale these new formations may themselves resemble flowers and plants within an abstract landscape. The groups are also suggestive of people and individuals coming together to form new associations and a new community. This approach is further inspired by aerial views of the locale taken from historic & contemporary aerial mapping as well as information gathered from local historic sources to create abstract motifs suggestive of clouds and patterns of updraft and airflow experienced by fliers, as well as textures and colours of field patterns and woods.
THE OS Map of 1869 shows Horsted Farm, with its Pond, Orchard & Chalk Pit surrounded by woods within a rural, agricultural landscape. Historic rural and agricultural lands with orchards, gardens and allotments surrounded by woods, which have been cultivated and managed for hundreds of years, interspersed with small communities working together. ‘The Horsted Valley is a wonderful green resource. It is one of the Medway Towns hidden gems, providing a vital green buffer between the surrounding urban areas and an important area for recreation and relaxation, and yet also providing a vital refuge and home for a wide variety of plants and animals’. Friends of Horsted Valley
Great Chatham Grove
Crooked Oak Wood
East Cookham Wood
Great Delce Wood
Little Delce Wood
Fort Horsted is one of five Forts built to protect the eastern flank of Chatham and the Dockyard, with its inherent history of military order, regimentation, defence and protection to draw upon.
Construction works started on Fort Horsted in 1880 – one of five Forts protecting Chatham’s Eastern Flank and primarily its strategically important Dockyard. Ordered by the Royal Commission following its report of 1860, the Fort was constructed by convicts under the supervision of the Royal Engineers.
The Fort sits adjacent to the historic Horsted Farm and the new Horsted Park. Its starkly geometric form is striking in plan in the landscape.
Rochester Airport was established in 1933 and built upon local farmland is the nearest industrial and business neighbour to Horsted Park. Its close proximity has been the inspiration for the street names throughout the site.
Rochester City Council compulsory purchased the land at Rochester Airfield in September 1933 from the landowner as the site for a municipal airport. One month later Short Brothers, who had started building aircraft in 1909 on the Isle of Sheppey, asked for permission to lease the land for test flying and thus began the privileged relationship between the local authority and the aviation industry.
In 1934-5 Short Brothers took over the Rochester Airport site when they moved some of their personnel from the existing seaplane works. Pobjoy Airmotors Ltd moved to Rochester at the same time to be closer to Short Brothers, to whom they were contracted for production of aircraft engines for the Short Scion. Financial difficulties led to a capital investment by Shorts in Pobjoy and the eventual assimilation of Pobjoy.
Rogallo Place itself has been named in response to this aviation history by taking its name from Francis Rogallo 1912 – 2009, an American aeronautical engineer inventor born in Sanger, California, U.S.; who is credited with the invention of the Rogallo Wing, or “flexible wing”, a precursor to the modern hang glider and paraglider. His patents were ranged over mechanical utility patents and ornamental design patents for wing controls, airfoils, target kite, flexible wing, and advanced configurations for flexible wing vehicles.
Francis Rogallo is still celebrated through aviation events, such as the Rogallo Kite Festival held annually at Nags Head Outer Banks North Carolina. His inventions started the sport of hang gliding and his designs have carried over into the stunt kites, power kites and hang gliders that are flown today. This event provides some very surreal and colourful images.
To compliment this interior work, I am also proposing an intervention in the landscape just outside the main entrance area.
A granite seat in several sections; a monolithic block of honed granite with large letters sandblasted into the vertical face of the seat spelling out ROGALLO PLACE. In plan, the shape suggests part of a delta wing – perhaps a nod to the Rogallo Place logo and the robust and enduring form of the nearby Fort Horsted.
Designs reproduced from the glazing vinyl artwork could also be sandblasted onto the honed granite surfaces, contextually and visually joining the two elements.
Granite for the bench is supplied and manufactured by Hardscape.
Thursday 4th May 2017 –
Draft artwork awaiting approval to go into production – we are working with our client team to review / comment and approve in the next few days so we can meet our install schedule.
At this stage I set all the imagery against a black background – which actually indicates glazing with no printing – just clear glass.
This work will be digitally printed onto optically clear vinyl. The process allows for a layer of colour, followed by a layer of white and finally another layer of colour. The artwork can be read equally from both viewing sides – inside or outside the building. The production level artwork files, sampling and final digital printing and installation is done by my long-time collaborators, Vinyl Graphics Ltd.
Various degrees of opacity and transparency are designed into the artwork. As a rule this is worked out via single colour files – in this case magenta – which clearly indicate degrees of opacity.
Wednesday 3rd May 2017
This new development of 64 Extra Care Apartments at Orchard Park, recently delivered in April this year by The Riverside Group is called ‘Harrison Park’, 100 years after Jack Harrison VC a former Hull FC Rugby League Star was killed at Oppy Wood, Arras, France in 1917 during the First World War.
Today – the 3rd May 2017 marks the day all four Hull Pals Battalions took part on the attack on Oppy Wood.
This event & others relating to WW1 are remembered on the 14-18-NOW WW! CENTENARY ART COMMISSIONS website.
A Pinterest Board of research images about Orchard Park and its history, can be found here.
Hull is currently celebrating City of Culture 2017 status, so there is much to do and see there ! –
Project Update – 20th April 2017
Tom worked alongside Occupational Therapists Helen Keay (Senior OT) and Holly Williams, in collaborating with patients, to undertake a series of workshops centred around drawing and mark making. I was subsequently provided with access to these drawings as inspiration for the artwork, using where possible, drawing motifs, textures and colours which formed part of the outcome from the creative sessions.
The project site is created within the internal circulation space of the Ward, centred around a small external courtyard. Artwork will be digitally printed onto optically clear vinyl and applied to the glazing, which provides views into the courtyard. The artwork has been commissioned to be applied on three sides of the courtyard glazing taking in the Circulation Corridor, Lounge and Multi-Faith Room, animating the space, introducing colour and detail and to visually engage patients and staff.
Harrison Park, Hall Road, Hull
An Extra Care Facility by Riverside
Click on this link HARRISON PARK, HALL ROAD CREATIVE CONTEXTUAL DOCUMENT to view the research based contextual concept draft for the project –
The Glazing Vinyl Artworks are presented as a series of abstract & figurative elements based upon a number of historic land maps, including the 1816 plan of Cottingham Common showing historic field patterns, each of which is annotated with the names of the individual landowner and /or tenant farmer.
The Inclosure Act of 1766 transformed this ill-drained common meadow and pasture, which was subject to seasonal flooding from the tidal River Hull, into a landscape of sluices, dykes, drains and ditches, the names of which, will be familiar to many of you now.
The 1886 hand drawn map of Coldharbour Farm, on North Carr Lane -now Orchard Park Road, in the collection of the Hull History Centre, shows the individual fields held by the tenant farmer, which were farmed until the new estate was built in 1963. This new building on Hall Road, part of the Orchard Park Estate, sits within the original boundary of the farm.
It is this historic landscape and community which provides a ‘frame’ of support and a visual reference for the artworks, reflecting the fact that there has been a continuous system of land & water management and farming, in turn supporting a community on this site since medieval times.
The artwork builds a bridge to the past and also acts as a threshold between the external and internal landscapes of the building. The outlines of plants, suggest those which may have grown in the waterways and fields of the area – Flowering Rush, Floating Pondweed,
Dyers Greenweed, Birds Foot Trefoil, Marsh Marigold, Cowslip, Common Daisy and Stinking Cranesbill. The Field Pattern geometry works as a scaffold device to hold these detailed drawings together, with its suggestion of green fields, ponds, clouds and textures.
The whole artwork is kept rigidly in place via the deep architectural window frames, which impose a vertical and horizontal symmetry to the view.
The use of areas of clear, transparent glazing is very much a part of the intention of the work, allowing views both from and into the building, whilst further animating and providing a backdrop of external colour and texture to illuminate and make visible, the cut-out detailing of the artwork.
The Field Pattern is further used to inspire and give form to a wall-hung cabinet, to be known as the Field Cabinet, which can be used as an ordinary bookshelf as well as a cabinet of curiosity containing references to the history and locality of the new building.
The Chemotherapy Treatment Room. During my last visit to site on 13th March 2017 – I was really interested to see how the creative concept for the project had been applied in the Chemotherapy Treatment Room – a state of the art, 6 chair Chemotherapy Suite.
The artwork was to be applied to the adjustable privacy screens adjacent to each chair. The work forms a continuous landscape, divided into 6 sections, which will be continually re-arranged to present new combinations as the screens are used throughout the day.
These screens were manufactured and installed by Kwickscreen.
The Christie Hospital has also launched a 3 day a week chemotherapy service at the new £1.8m Macmillan Unit.
I made my last visit to site on 13th March 2017 – to see the artworks fully installed. The interiors throughout the new unit are all completed, fully furnished and operational and the first clinics were to be held the very next day. Tameside Macmillan Unit Willis Newson
No more words – only images –