Hospital Arts: News round-up

Mural to brighten Notts hospital

AN ILLUSTRATED mural is being designed for the walls of the new Women and Children's Centre at King's Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire. The project brief stated that the design needed to be attractive to children and young people and at the same time acknowledge the generosity of the local community and the achievements of the Charitable Appeals Trust. Designed by the Hospital Arts Studio, the mural uses hot air balloons as a ‘vehicle’ to carry photographs representing some of the most noteworthy fundraising achievements of the group. Trailing from each photo will be a banner giving a brief description of the event and the main mural title will feature on the basket of the large centre balloon full of excited, smiling children. A spokeswoman for the Hospital Arts Studio said: “I totally adore working on projects like this and am now onto the next stage of illustrating the country landscape. As requested by the client I have included The Major Oak of Sherwood Forest, which is reported to be the most famous living tree in the world and, according to local legend, once sheltered Robin Hood and his band of merry men. I have also been asked to include some small animals and birds into the landscape, which I am currently doing.”

New look for children's A and E

LONDON-based artist, Jacques Nimki, has developed artwork for the walls, corridors, windows and doors of the children's A and E department at the Royal London Hospital. Working in close consultation with clinical staff and young patients, Nimki sought to bring some of the natural world found outside, into the building, creating a more welcoming atmosphere. Working with plants found in the urban environment, his pieces include Royal Florilegium, which literally means ‘a gathering of flowers’.

Scultpure provides centrepiece for garden

A SCULPTURE entitled Lightwaves is providing the centerpiece for a new garden and seating area at the front of St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey. Local artist, Duncan Bell, created the landmark from a single piece of Purbeck Spangle stone from Swanage in Dorset, which he sculpted to produce several different surfaces, with sparkles that come from oyster shells long since fossilised into the stone. It is now the main attraction in the new garden, which was designed by Richard Jackson. Aileen McLeish, chairman of Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Up until now we’ve had very little outside seating for our patients and visitors, and the work we’ve been doing to resite our main bus stop closer to the hospital entrance has given us the perfect opportunity to change that. We wanted to create a quiet, contemplative place where patients, their friends and relatives could sit and relax or wait for their bus in a peaceful environment. The garden has been very cleverly designed around a series of concentric semi-circles of beech hedging which wrap around the seating area and the garden's focal point, the Lightwaves sculpture, giving a delightful view.” Dr Peter Wilkinson, chairman of the trust's arts committee, added: “I feel very strongly that we should offer our patients a healing environment when they come into hospital. Clinical areas are often rather stark and cold and the addition of artwork can really help in softening that. We are very lucky, through donations to the hospital, to have been able to commission this sculpture and also to have many other pieces of artwork on loan.”

I feel very strongly that we should offer our patients a healing environment when they come into hospital. Clinical areas are often rather stark and cold and the addition of artwork can really help in softening that

Book charts hospital stalwart's efforts

THE chairman of the League of Friends of Rossall and Fleetwood Hospitals has written a book charting 53 years of volunteering at Wesham Park Hospital, Rossall Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital. Entitled History, Events and Memories on a Journey of Volunteering in the NHS over Five Decades, the fundraising book was written by Margaret Parr and provides a written and pictorial history of the provision of NHS services on the Fylde Coast. It also highlights how volunteers have played an important role in providing services to benefit local patients and have raised funds to purchase medical equipment and patient amenities. Parr said: “I had no intention of writing a book, but I had a lot of photographs, speeches and notes in albums and scrapbooks about the experiences of working with the League of Friends.” Paul Bailey, head of fundraising and voluntary services at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “For a number of years, colleagues and I have been encouraging Margaret to put her memories on paper and we have been privileged to see earlier drafts. I hope it raises lots of funds for the two hospitals that are so close to her heart.”

Trust staff show their artistic side

THE artistic talents of employees at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised in the annual staff painting and poetry competition. Trust chairman, Dr Mary Archer, named the winners at a recent ceremony, saying: “I never cease to be amazed at the diversity of the talents of our staff. It just shows that there's a creative and free spirit in so many of us that expresses itself in poetry and art and that's absolutely splendid.” In all, 11 paintings and 12 poems were shortlisted from the 33 entries in each category, with an expert panel of judges from the local arts and literary scene having the difficult task of choosing the winners. First place in the painting competition went to Sue Burgess with Hulls Mill Farm. Runners-up were paediatric team leader, Katie Bagstaff, with her entry Belt View; and research nurse, Annie McNinch, with 3.3. The winning poem was Almost by junior charge nurse, Lloyd Walpole, from the King's Lynn dialysis unit. Lesley Bermingham, of Addenbrooke's Arts charity, said: “Our annual staff competitions have been a great opportunity to discover and celebrate the creativity of our staff. It has been an absolute joy to see such an inspiring variety of poems and artwork, which will now adorn our corridors.”

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