Art engagement sessions held for the Baird Family Hospital

15/09/2023
Louise Kirby will be creating art for the wards and corridors.

A TEAM of artists has been commissioned to create pieces of art for Aberdeen’s new Baird Family Hospital. Art engagement sessions were held recently to give staff, patients and members of the public a chance to work with the artists to influence the original artwork for the new hospital. 

The commissioned artists – NEON Studio, Joseph Hillier, Bespoke Atelier, Colin Davies, Louise Kirby and Emma Varley – developed creative activities and questionnaires to help inform the pieces they will develop for the new hospital. 

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The art commissions are being funded by The Archie Foundation as part of their £2 million ‘Baird Appeal’ which aims to deliver the difference at the new hospital.  

Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation, said: “The art in The Baird Family Hospital will play a big part in creating a welcoming aesthetic. The aim is to create a positive and pleasant environment for patients, their visitors and also for staff. 

“The artists will be creating a range of artworks for The Baird Family Hospital and we are delighted they have spent time talking to staff, patients and visitors who access and work in the wards and departments which will move into the Baird Family Hospital.” 

The drop-in sessions, which took place at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and at the Rosemount Community Centre, provided a chance to discuss the artwork which will be going into the new hospital. 

Mark Nixon and Viliina Koivisto of NEON relate their involvement in the project to their own experiences.  

Viliina said: “We had our child three years ago. This project feels close to home because we have lived through that, so we thought it would be interesting to work in that environment and have an impact on how people feel when they come to hospital.” 

Louise Kirby has also been commissioned to work on the project. She will be creating art for the wards and corridors.  

She said: “For me it is about understanding the people who will be using this space and making sure I’m putting the right kind of message into it, as it’s their experience, not mine. 

“Amongst others, I am going to be designing the artwork that is going on the bridge, from The Baird Family Hospital to the main hospital. I imagine because it’s a corridor space, and people are moving, there’s going to be some sort of journey.” 

The Grampian Hospitals Art Trust (GHAT) has been working with NHS Grampian to deliver the artwork for the new facility, which is currently being built on the Foresterhill site. 

Sally Thomson, Director of Grampian Hospitals Art Trust, said: “Grampian Hospitals Art Trust has supported NHS Grampian for almost 40 years to uplift the environment of the hospitals through art. Access to arts activities and a pleasing built environment in hospital has been proven to add a positive impact by enhancing health, wellbeing and quality of life.  

“Grampian Hospitals Art Trust has worked closely with The Archie Foundation to support the arts for young people in hospital and we are proud to be working with them on The Baird Family Hospital to help patients feel cared for, visitors feel welcome and staff feel valued.” 

For the first time in NHS Grampian’s history, maternity, gynaecology, breast screening and breast surgery services will all be under one roof, along with a centre for reproductive medicine, an operating theatre suite and cutting-edge research and teaching facilities led by the University of Aberdeen. 

To date, The Archie Foundation has raised more than £1million towards funding the vital finishing touches and additional specialist equipment which will take The Baird Family Hospital from being a clinically state of the art hospital to a world-class facility.  

Paula added: “There is no doubt that our £2million fundraising appeal for The Baird Family Hospital will make a huge difference to families throughout North Scotland. The raised funds will significantly enhance the clinical services provided by the NHS to make hospital stays more comfortable and easier for premature and sick babies and their families, including the provision of financial grants and accommodation.” 

Visit www.archie.org/getsupport/ for more information about the practical, financial and emotional support available from The Archie Foundation.  

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