"This series of paintings has an interesting concept and they are well executed. I have noted the surreal elements, your distinctive style and technique."
In 2003/04 I was commissioned to conduct a research residency at the Medical Assessment Unit at Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust.
As well as creating residency artworks, my remit was to devise and conduct a series of interactive research processes with patients and staff.
This was to investigate their thoughts and feelings towards the visual environment and the role that the visual arts could play in uplifting that environment.
By conducting a series of verbal questionnaires and through less formal interactions, I identified the kinds of artwork that would be most appropriate for this ward environment. I was astonished by the range and variety of opinions and responses, all of which I recorded and considered.
However, a consensus did emerge and I was able to use some of the more prevalent views and suggestions. The idea for “windows out” into beautiful local landscapes came from the patients, whilst the idea for images reflecting the process of care came from the staff.
The final site specific artworks assimilated these two views and showed the colour and activity of life on the ward which went some way to easing the fear of hospitalisation and illness that we all experience.
A compositional frieze of these images straddled the nurse-bays of the ward. Conversely, the vistas into imagined landscapes above patients’ beds offer a contemplative escape from the clinical world and into high-quality life experiences.