Always a relief to see projects get to this stage ! The printing has started ! Swift Signs in Weymouth are now in production of the glazing vinyl artworks for the Radiotherapy Outpatients Unit. Install is scheduled for next week. Watch this space !
It’s taken a while to get to this point – but the artworks were signed off for production a few weeks ago and have now been printed by Swift Signs Ltd & are awaiting installation at the Robert White Centre, Radiotherapy Unit at Dorchester Hospital.
Here are a few images of the final artworks – it may help to know that any white used in the design does not print – and remains completely clear – bringing the outside in and extending the impact of the work to the external landscape beyond the clinical spaces. The colours also vary in transparency and opacity, so do not appear anywhere near as flat and opaque as they do in the artwork – which is a good thing right? I thinks so…
The top and bottom screen elevations work together as two adjacent spaces, where the designs overlap. Anything printed white here is actually completely clear and does not print. so you could imagine these two images combining with the external landscape.
I have been dropping the artwork into the glazing frames to look at balance, proportion, scale & colour.
Inspired by Jurassic plant fossils, drafts & designs for discussion & comment by the project team & NHS Trusts are coming together in the studio. If successful these will be digitally printed onto glazing vinyl for the Radiotherapy Unit on the ground floor of the Robert White Cancer Centre based at Dorset County Hospital. These services are delivered by Poole Hospital as part of the wider county wide Cancer Services. The project is a collaboration between various agencies including Arts in Hospital & Poole Hospital Charity.
These artworks are presented as long elevations of ground to ceiling windows, but in reality they are a series of interlinked screens at angles to one another. For example, the External Lobby Entrance Screen will be seen through the Clothed Waiting Room Screen.
Above & Below: These are the interior views of glazed screens as they are at the moment. The Staff Meeting Room is overlooked by an unappealing brick wall & stepped access to a public footpath, which is at a higher level creating privacy issues. In the artwork designs, all areas in white will be either transparent glazing or opaque printed vinyl, allowing in light, but not views by the public. The Clothed Waiting Room and Reception area glass screens look out onto the ground floor external paved concourse linking this building to the Main Hospital and adjacent Canteen. The artwork screens will provide much needed privacy from the ground floor pedestrian areas outside and hopefully some peaceful distraction for patients coming regularly into the Radiotherapy unit.
Samples of the designs will be digitally printed at full scale and installed in the Radiotherapy Unit for further comment and confirmation that the outcome is what is desired by staff and patients.
Above: These five rooms are linked via a corridor. I have shown them as a single open space – but in reality, each is a separate private clinic room or office.
Drafts and sketches for the digitally printed glazing vinyl artwork for the ground floor Radiotherapy Unit of the Robert White Cancer Centre are now in progress in the studio. At this stage, the drafts are for comment and discussion and the final design work will be tailored in response to this process.
Inspired by Jurassic plant fossils, such as Cycads, Tree Ferns, Magnolias, Monkey Puzzle and Gingko, the ideas are developing by way of a distinct colour palette and abstract pattern-making too, as well as looking to incorporate and blend in with the glazing artworks of the Outpatient Unit on the first floor, which were completed late in December 2018. Although the two floors deliver independent services via Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospitals, it is important that from the outside particularly, the artwork links the two floors and presents a united front elevation to all those visiting & working on this site. The Jurassic Coast and the Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens, have both been influential. The coastal geology has been a particular fascination, with stones and fossils being very much the theme of the first floor Outpatients department.
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 Taylor and 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
Fleeting expressions of light in shadow play
Some years ago a long standing family friend and close friend of my Dad was being treated for cancer. He and his wife had often been to Elgol on the shores of Lock Skavaig on the Isle of Skye. They loved this place. I too had been there and as is the case – and now slightly frowned upon – I picked up some stones from a stream bed. The stones were small, but smooth & beautifully polished to a honed satin finish by the action of water. They could be held in the hand and moved around. The feeling of them was somehow special and resonant. I still have them now, wrapped in a cloth bag for fear of damaging them. I sent one of these stones to Dad’s friend. In doing that I think we had a non verbal conversation at distance about place and memories. I like to think it was re-assuring for both of us.
I have always picked up stones. They represent something unique about place, time and experience. Geology is fascinating.
I live by the sea in Ramsgate on the Kent Coast. I walk on the beach most days. I have found many sea urchin fossils. Each has a unique story. Each stone can still trigger memories of where and when it was found, what the weather was like…was the tide in or out.
I have created work for several projects with Cancer treatment centres at a number of Hospitals, including Churchill Hospital Cancer Centre, Oxford and a Macmillan Cancer unit for Tameside General Hospital. At Tameside Hospital and found my inspiration on a 12 mile walk entitled “Journeys through the Landscapes of Tameside” – this walk eventually became the brief for the project.
Stewart Ramsden, my walking partner who compiled the walk, had also been a cancer patient at the hospital and was part of our project’s champion group. Our route was eventually described by an eccentric figure of eight. Wild Bank and Hollingworthall Moor from Godley – a 12 mile walk through town, suburb, farmland and moorland.
The following words were made from my notes on the day:
This is a walk
A meander, a physical experience or just maybe a day-dream
A walk is more often along a path
The path or footpath changes in colour, texture and topography –
but there is always a remembered route to follow or a map to guide you
or maybe a venture to somewhere new
There is a constancy in moving forward
Things seen on a walk are half experienced and half remembered
A vivid green hedge
A tyre track
A discarded toy
A cloud which looks like a tree, a stream which looks like silver, a flash of colour
Horizon merges with sky
This is a landscape with no fixed perspective
Sky reflected in water
A small stone becomes a boulder
An object picked up and carried in the hand along the way
Track marks in fields are gestural and dynamic
Distant buildings become a child’s building blocks
The layersPatterns in brickwork
Our project for the new Radiotherapy Unit at Dorset Hospital was similarly inspired by a walk along the Jurassic Coast I made ten years ago. I was hoping to find myself an ammonite to take home. I didn’t find any, but I saw many encased in rock by the shore. I saw the Blue Lias beds that contain giant plesiosaur fossils. The layers are like drawers in time. Each opening to another world and perhaps another wonder. I was also allowed free time to spend in the Dorset Museum Archives amongst boxes and drawers and piles of specimen stones and fossils. The way these objects were carefully curated and stored – often in intricate patterns and collections of similar sizes and or type. was inspiring and reminded me of my collections at home and of how precious they are to me. The artwork has grown out of this fascination. The stones I have created are imaginary in colour and pattern, although informed by nature. They are perhaps stones I would like to find. Stones I would hold in my imagination to remind me of journeys I have made and places I have been.
We have now had the approval and sign off on the artwork proposals following a recent meeting with key Staff and stakeholders this week. The deadline is looming. The new building opens on 12th December. The work has to be manufactured and installed before this date.
To create the digital work each element requires up to 3 copies of each shape. One blank, one black & white and one in colour. The black & white originals are a mix of hand drawn motifs and textures, which are then scanned and worked on in Photoshop. I create a series of related shapes and masks, which I can then combine with larger patterns, often in repeat.Colours are added at this stage. I will often scan objects such as found paper or leaves and work on them digitally. I take too many images in the street, of shapes of water on the pavement – or reflections in windows – or a small plant growing in a crack in the ground or on a wall. All these can trigger an idea for a pattern or story.
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.
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:
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.
Aix and Vichy Douches
Scotch and Needle Douches
Reclining and Vapour Baths
Radiant Heat Baths
Sulpher Baths of Potassium Sulphide
Mineral Water Baths
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.
White for truth, sincerity, peace, innocence and purity
Circlet of Fountains
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’.
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
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 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.
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 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 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.
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’.
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.