I am always trying to play catch-up with projects I completed prior to having any online platforms. Here we are, almost 13 years since its completion and installation and I have finally managed to track down a great set of images, which were commissioned by Tarkett Flooring(actually it was Tarkett Marley back in 2006). The images were originally commissioned by PR Firm Mainspring from photographer Ian Blantern of Blantern & Davis Photography.
Ian Blantern retrieved the images from his archive, for which I am really grateful.
In 2004 I was commissioned by Peter Ursem, a former director of the Artcare Team at Salisbury District Hospital to collaborate with project team Architects, Chapman Taylorand Contractor Gleeson. The brief was to create bespoke flooring installations throughout the four levels of the new building, combined with creating interior colour schemes to assist in wayfinding and identity. I collaborated closely with Tarkett Marley Floors throughout the design and manufacturing period on sonic cutting and installation methods.
“The planned move of services from the older southern end of the Salisbury District Hospital site to a new modern purpose built facility took place in May 2006. The new building which was designed using the views of local people and staff houses the regional burns service, elderly care and orthopaedic wards. It also has an outpatient department with plastic surgery, maxillo facial outpatients, laser treatment centre and therapy services. This was the largest development seen on this site since Phase One of the hospital was built in1993 and means that these services now have natural links with the acute and diagnostic services in the newer part of the hospital. The new burns accommodation is situated on level four and has its own dedicated operating theatre. It is located near the Intensive Therapy Unit so that it can access critical care support for people with serious burn injuries. Orthopaedics has its own purpose built accommodation and this is located on level four of the new building close to main theatres. Plastic surgery and maxillo facial outpatients has its own department on level three, so that it links in with general outpatient and diagnostic services on the same level in the existing hospital. Medical and elderly wards are situated on level two, with two elderly care wards taking the vacated ward areas in the existing hospital that are next to the Nunton Unit, which provides physiotherapy. In designing the new building, the aim was to maximise natural daylight and ensure that patients in ward areas can enjoy excellent views across the Wiltshire countryside”.Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
The designs were inspired by abstract forms in the Wiltshire landscape – ephemeral and or suggested elements as seen from the Hospital. This included ancient and historic man-made stone circles at Avebury and Sarum, crop circles, dew ponds, Fovant Badges, plough lines and field patterns. I also looked at Downton lace making, the architecture and decoration of Salisbury Cathedral and the flora and fauna of a chalk and limestone landscape. Engagement with staff and patients was also undertaken. The installations were made at major node points such as nurses stations, waiting areas, key vistas and in the window seating areas of the 4-bed bays. The patterns break up the generous expanses of floor, providing an element of surprise and distraction for patients and visitors alike. All floors share a limited catalogue of motifs, but these are expressed via individual and distinct colour palettes on each level. Levels 1 & 2 share an set of earth and terracotta tones representing chalk marls and ploughed fields. Level 3 uses shades of green reminiscent of summer and farmland and woods, whilst on Level 4, blues and lilac colours reflect shifting skyscapes.
What am I proposing?
Looking at Wiltshire: A patchwork of pattern, texture and light
Designs inspired by man-made forms in the landscape –
Earthworks: Avebury – Old Sarum – Silbury Hill
Chalk Drawings: Wiltshire Horses and Fovant Badges
Designs inspired by local history, industry and architecture –
Medieval Ceramic Tiles
Romano British Mosaics
Designs inspired by the unseen & ephemeral in the landscape –
The geology of Wiltshire
Fossils of the Chalk Downland of Wiltshire
Associated Flora and Fauna: Horseshoe Vetch and Adonis Blue
Above: Bespoke inlaid flooring with a Surgeon’s leg.
I have worked at Dorset County Hospital on two previous occasions, both memorable. My association with the Trust and its Arts in Hospital Team goes back to 1993, some 26 years! This recent visit to start a new project for the Radiotherapy Unit at the recently completed Robert White Centre, was quite poignant, because I made a concerted effort, whilst there to re-connect and revisit two commissions I had previously created for the Hospital, in 1993 and 2009 respectively. I have deliberately not looked back at the files for these projects, in fact I am not sure I still have the 1993 project on record. That was definitely pre-digital.
Interesting to see things again – unplanned and in the moment and experience them anew.
The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital seen through rain spattered windows on a bad weather day. I couldn’t access the courtyard directly yesterday due to the weather. The bronze dog is by Dame Elisabeth Frink, who I was extremely privileged to meet at her home in Blandford Forum in 1992, when I was taken there by my commissioner Val Pitt-Rivers, the founder of Arts in Hospital and a great friend of Elisabeth’s. Elisabeth Frink died in 1993. The courtyard was designed and created around this beautiful sculpture and was loosely based upon a roman villa garden.
‘In 1987, the Vice Chairman of the hospital, Val Pitt-Rivers, started Arts in Hospital with the help of a few friends. Since her retirement in 1998 she has continued to support us as an active patron. Her first committee was responsible for some of our most iconic artworks such as the Red & Blue Crayons by Peter Logan and the Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink, a founder patron of Arts in Hospital.
After the opening of Phase 1 of the new Dorset County Hospital in 1987, the internal courtyards became the main focus of the arts project. The first to be completed was the Waterfall Courtyard by the sculptor Hamish Horsley. Soon after followed the courtyard to house Elisabeth Frink’s Dog, which was designed by artist Christopher Tipping, and then the Bird Garden designed by John Hubbard with stone fragments engraved by Richard Grasby’. Arts in Hospital
I love to see the lichens growing everywhere…a sign of age…as well as the Box and Bamboo topiary, maintained as cubes as per the original design.
The Hospital Streets project was completed in 2009 & was commissioned by the then director of Arts in Hospital, Alexandra Coulter.
The project was focussed on colour and wayfinding over three floors of the hospital, with the inspiration coming from two days spent walking & exploring along the Jurassic Coastand another day buried deep in the archives of the Dorset County Museum fossil collections. We collaborated with Tarkett flooring and created bespoke motifs which were inlaid at key points along the Hospital Streets such as lift lobbies and stairs. The work is now almost 10 years old and still looks remarkably fresh considering the heavy traffic.
Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019