ixia: public art think tank

ixia has taken over the ownership and management of Public Art Online from Arts Council England. The design and content of the website are currently being reviewed.

Bookmark and Share

New hospital building for Bristol integrates major public art project

Date uploaded: February 10, 2014

The new Southmead Hospital, Bristol will integrate a major public art project featuring the work of nationally and internationally recognised artists.
The building and surrounding grounds will feature the work of six artists as part of a wider public art programme for the new super-hospital, due to take its first patients in May 2014.
The programme is led by arts and healthcare specialists Willis Newson, commissioned by the developers of the new site, Carillion. Underpinning the project is a close collaboration between North Bristol NHS Trust and its arts programme Fresh Arts, architects Building Design Partnership (BDP), the commissioned artists, Carillion and Willis Newson.
The £1.1 million arts programme is a small part of North Bristol NHS Trust’s £430 million Private Finance Initiative development for the new Southmead Hospital. It builds on research which clearly demonstrates the direct benefits for patients of incorporating visual and performing arts into the hospital environment.
As well as improving therapeutic environments for patients, the public art commissions are part of a wider programme which also includes participatory arts activities to engage the local community, hospital staff and patients.
Installation of the work of the six commissioned artists began in September 2013. The first phase will be completed at the end of March this year. The building will be in use from May 2014 and will be officially opened in October 2015, by which time, the second phase of work will be complete.
Source – Peter Randall Page
Peter Randall-Page’s sculpted stone water feature for the Medical Day Garden is made from a naturally eroded granite boulder from Dartmoor which he has carved in low relief in a rippling pattern. Water will emerge from the top of the sculpture to flow gently over its entire surface. The stone will be surrounded by pebbles and subtly lit after dark.
"A calm and attractive environment can be an important element in healing. A garden provides spiritual nourishment through contact with nature. I hope that my sculpture, incorporating gently running water, will add to the meditative atmosphere of the courtyard and be conducive to a contemplative and healing environment for both patients and staff," says Randall-Page.
Landmark Sculptures – Laura Ford
A series of five bronze sculptures of injured animals will landmark the key zones of the hospital, connecting them and drawing people across the hospital site. The artist for these works is Laura Ford, who has been working with a foundry near Stroud to complete the castings.
A bear with a sore back, a hyena with an injured neck and an elephant with a lump in his trunk will be seen in the Lime Tree Park approach leading to the main entrance of the new hospital from Southmead Road. On the Square, outside the main entrance, will be a lion with a bandaged paw, and three monkeys will sit near the entrance to the Accident and Emergency on Dorian Way nursing their injured limbs.
“I am thrilled to be working on this project at Southmead and hope that the works will become familiar friends to the users of the hospital,” says Laura Ford.
Binary Clock Sculpture – Tobias Rehberger
Tobias Rehberger has created a series of hanging neon sculptures which function as binary clocks.
Each of the 78 neon light elements have been made by hand from mouth-blown glass by German company Nordlicht who have led the field of illuminated advertisements since 1949. They have used traditional German production methods of glass blowing and metal working to create the work.
The design is a complex arrangement of suspension wires, neon elements, power cabling and computers to control the clock. The installation will involve hoisting the sculptures right up into the roof, which is in some places up to 30m high, and setting each neon element at the right height to build up the composition in each atrium.
Mon Cirque Concourse Courtyard Sculptures – Jaime Hayón
The work of Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayón blurs the lines between art, decoration and design and has been exhibited worldwide. This is the first commission he has carried out for a hospital. Mon Cirque consists of a series of sculpture groupings for each of the 3 courtyards, which open off the main hospital atriums.
Each group of 5 sculptures will be finished in a different colour to distinguish the different courtyards from each other. The sculptures fuse vase-like forms with figurative qualities to provide a narrative.
The works have been designed to integrate with the landscape so that they animate these enclosed spaces, emerging from and disappearing into the foliage, creating an element of surprise and visual engagement which brings these non accessible spaces to life.
Ginkgo Sculptural Screens – Jacqui Poncelet
Ginkgo is Jacqui Poncelet’s design for a sequence of five stainless steel, vertical, free-standing screens positioned to create privacy in the patient-only areas of the Medical Day Garden.
The screens are sited between carefully chosen seating to create beautiful spaces in which patients and staff may sit, engage with nature, be private or take a breath of fresh air. Jacqui consulted with staff from renal, chemotherapy and medical day departments about her ideas as she developed her designs. The screens use a pattern of leaves from the Ginkgo tree which is known for its medicinal properties and has a beautiful, butterfly-like shape.
The screens will cast shadows making patches of dappled light through the day and night. The softly polished surfaces will reflect ambient colour, subtly changing as the light moves over them.
Coloured Discs, sculptures for the Welled Courtyard – Ally Wallace
Wallace’s sculpture, Coloured Discs, is a series of nine coloured metal discs, mounted onto aluminium posts. The discs will be viewed from above and will appear as floating circles above the planting.
This bold, simple idea will the introduce colour into the space while the composition integrates with the planted area.
Wallace says: “The welled courtyard is an interesting and also challenging space to work with, mainly due to the fact that the space is quite dark and the viewing points are so high up. My approach has been to design a work which will be viewed from the waiting area and corridors which look down into the courtyard."

For further information
Gillian Taylor 07761 546075


Landmark Sculptures – Laura Ford

Landmark Sculptures – Laura Ford