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The Hospital Arts Project commenced ahead of the new building, opened in February 2006. The Arts Working Group considered art to be an integral part of environment rather than an add-on luxury. Commissions for major artworks were let to experienced local artists. Art improves the quality of life and may even assist recovery; large scale works act as landmarks or direction finders. The artistic and social aims of the project are –
- Select art to promote a therapeutic and pleasing environment for patients, staff and visitors using the services at Queen Mary’s.
- Provide art that is thought provoking and visually stimulating, creating artistic focal points for all.
- To enhance the patient experience through art, music and creative activities.
- Ensure that the history of Queen Mary’s Hospital is well represented through its art.
- To provide stewardship and continuity for art resources at Queen Mary’s.
- Support the local artistic community through performance opportunities and commissioning of works.
- To value art as a medium of truth, beauty and enquiry which can add joyful colour and meaning to life.
- To collaborate with other NHS Trusts in the promotion of arts for health.
- To continue to seek funds enabling the project to be self-sustaining.
Major works, completed prior to the 2006 opening included local sculptor, Nathan David’s cast bronze half-size statue of ‘Mother & Child’ on a granite pedestal. (left)
Yvonne Fletcher’s ‘Richmond Park’ six metre wide 5-panel oil painting in the restaurant was created in the former dental unit. (right)
HOSPITAL HISTORY MURAL by BARRINGTON BARBER (above & right)
The Artist was invited to develop a visual chronology of the Hospital, covering the whole period from its inauguration by Mrs Gwynne Holford during the Great War (1914-18) to the present day. Space was found on site for Barrington to paint (in the Dental Unit) and be visited by members of staff, either to appear as players in the later sections (at right) or merely to monitor progress of the oil Painting which measures 1.2 Metres high by 6.9 M wide, plus a ‘wing’ of 1.2 M. Main figure groups include – Patrons, Founders, Benefactors / World Wars 1 & 2 including Douglas Bader / Patients & Staff 1950-2006.
Michelle Holden collaborated with staff members on a collage entitled ‘TEXT-ile’ based on Cunningham’s ‘Manual of Practical Anatomy’ integrating fabrics and pages that were cut and stitched together.
RECENT ACQUISITIONS 2009
Art project leaders Nicole Riordan (Matron, Rapid Diagnostics) and Stephen Nicoll (Arts Co-ordinator) continue to develop a collection of artworks with a local theme. Including a three-metre high Portland stone statue entitled ‘Queen’s Rook’; a ‘Riverside’ wetlands-theme mural; a Bechstein Grand Piano; several Ceiling Art designs in treatment and recovery suites, places where patients look upwards. Systematic research at QMH has confirmed a favourable response to ceiling art.
QUEENS ROOK by Simon Buchanan.
The idea was taken from a 14th century interpretation of 'Rokehampton' as 'Home Farm Where Rooks Gather.' There has long been a rookery on the site.
The QMH logo was carved in Portland stone blocks, as a totem. (Artist shown at work)
'RIVERSIDE' MURAL by Yvonne Fletcher
(Autumn 2009 / Size: 3.8M x 1.2M)
Themes - Nature inspired by the Wetlands; water, birds, foliage, fish, sky, landmarks and
Qualities of water - therapeutic, healing, peaceful, energising, tranquil, reflective, mysterious.
ANNUAL REVIEW 2008-09
Keynotes of the Arts Project this year were Music & Sculpture.
Restoration of the Bechstein Grand Piano was funded by Catalyst for Tim Hendy’s work off-site including new hammers and full French-polishing. It has already provided memorable lunchtime Foyer recitals by locals, Isobel (left), Su, Baron & Eva. Other musicians in wards and restaurant notably included the Sterling String Quartet, Keziah Thomas (harp), David Moon (guitar) & Roehampton University Ensemble students featuring wind, brass, vocal, strings, piano & percussion. Also Steel Pans.
Provision of Simon Buchanan’s Portland Stone sculpture was shared by St James’ Homes, Catalyst, Wandsworth & Sodexo.
These were backed up by acquisitions including Yvonne Fletcher’s popular Niagara Falls paintings and her keenly anticipated ‘Wetlands Mural’. Tate Art prints were purchased.
Meanwhile, the decorated OPD ceilings programme continues.
Restoration of the Bechstein Grand Piano has provided a focal point for fine art and music. Recitals take place each month. Working with local universities has produced original artworks and musical performances.
STERLING STRING QUARTET
Led by violinist Megan Pound, a varied classical programme & two Irish jigs for St Patrick’s Day (17th march). Ruth (violin), Alistair (viola) & Brian (cello).
In M.Seacole. 2nd year Ensemble music groups, ‘Shadows’ style on electric guitars; & jazzy Gershwin.
DAY CASE ART PROJECT by Sarah Holcombe
Art research project to provide original works on a single theme (Kew Gardens) in Day Case Unit.To monitor effect on general mood of day patients. Ceiling murals in Theatre and in Recovery Ward.
Left: ‘OCTAGON SKYLIGHT’ Mural 1.9M dia
Above: Artist Sarah Hocombe and assistant working from tower scaffold.
Above-right: Detail ‘Swallow’. Plastic paint.
CEILINGS by Sarah Holcombe and Stephen Nicoll
Childrens’ suite 'Wetlands Scene' oil painting by Barrington Barber
Barrington Barber worked with staff to create appropriate original art. The painting produced was a three-panel mural based on the theme of local parklands. It featured birds, insects and text. The piece includes a Beechwood frame. 1.6 x 1.1 M.
'Tulip Reflections' acrylic on canvas by Stephen Nicoll
Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x40 cm.
Student Projects - linocuts & silk screen prints