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  • James Stewart

Reflections at King Edward VII's Hospital

Curating Art and Well-Being



In January 2023 14 artworks were installed at the King Edward VII's Hospital Medical Centre (Outpatients Department) on Beaumont Street, Marylebone, London, W1.


The works were selected through an Open Call for Artists, which started in July 2022. All the pieces are rented from the artists, via Zimmer Stewart Gallery, and will be in place for twelve months.



During the Call for Artists 680 artworks were submitted from 180 artists from all over the UK. In November 2021 the Hospital Art Panel convened to look at 114 works by 30 artists that were pre-selected by Zimmer Stewart Gallery. The Panel then made the final selection for hanging.


Art in hospitals has been shown to have benefits beyond merely decorating a space. These include easing stress in patients, increasing staff morale and encourage team building.


You can see the full details of the Call for Artists and why art in hospitals matters here.


The artworks are all for sale and include 12 paintings and two photo-collages, to view all the artworks, with all details including pricing and short artist biographies click here.


Art Rental is the perfect means for the hospital to achieve its' aims to present a rolling twelve month programme of artwork. The selection of works suit the high level of design and materials used in the Medical Centre, but more importantly it complements the objectives of the hospital to 'curate well being' putting the patient first.


To see details of the paintings selected for 2022 click here.


Reception Area:


The ground floor reception area is the first place that patients and visitors see when arriving at the hospital.


Patients arrive here alone or with friends or family, and can be a little stressed or nervous. The whole space thus needed to be welcoming, and not overwhelming, the paintings here and throughout the medical centre contribute to this along with the interior design and high quality of materials used.


The waiting area is large and so needed a large painting. The painting selected here is 'Untitled (Banana Leaves)', oil on canvas, 150 x 230 cm by Aidan Myers.


Aidan Myers is based in Cardiff, and spent three months in a residence in Amir Art House, Goa and in 2017 which has inspired this work: An immersive scene of banana plants inspired by Indian landscapes.


The composition is an abstraction and does not represent a particular place. The vitrine structure in the foreground suggests that the plant forms are being contained or protected/nurtured. The banana leaf structures are dominant and have a strong visual impact yet the plants are fragile.


The artist says that the painting can be seen as a visual metaphor for the fragility of life.


Also on the ground floor is a large mural by Bridget Riley, based on her spot, Disc paintings (not via Zimmer Stewart Gallery).



Lower Ground:


The Lower Ground floor is where patients go for diagnostic imaging.


In there waiting area we hung two large paintings by Gareth Brown: 'Harbour Reflections II', oil on canvas, 154 x 108 cm and 'Harbour Reflections III', oil on canvas, 152 x 113 cm.


Gareth Brown studied Fine Art at Exeter Art College, before working in conservation in the UK and Europe.


His work is inspired by a love for colour, texture and form, resulting in bold, representational images with qualities of abstraction.


'Harbour Reflections II & III' are from a series of works inspired by the reflection of traditionally decorated fishing boats in Mediterranean harbours. The reflected colours, rippling on the water's surface, create abstract patterns, which the artist felt lend themselves to be painted.


One of the challenges with this work is in creating the colours, shapes and patterns of the reflections, without losing the sense of the water's surface plane.


Opposite the imaging rooms is 'Prospect', oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, by Nicola Weavers.


After studying Fine Art at the University of Brighton, Nicola continued to paint alongside a successful career in Marketing. In 2021 Nicola founded Absolutely Hanging; creating truly bespoke artwork for any space.


'Prospect' represents a little cove that the artist is drawn to. It can be moody, but when sun hits the water and there's nothing to focus your eyes on, “it's magical”.


As with most of her work, Nicola works experimentally which leads to intuitive reactions based on what was happening in front of her.


Basement:


The Basement is the radiography department, and also has its own waiting area. Here we hung 'Waveguide', acrylic and ink on canvas, 130 x 100 cm by Bo Lanyon.


Bo Lanyon’s paintings explore an entangled landscape of experience. Blending the history & gestures of abstraction with condensed, contemporary figuration, the works resemble densely interconnected navigations of colour, atmosphere & sensation.


Based in Bristol, he studied at the Royal College of Art & University of Gloucestershire.


'Waveguide' captures a sense of movement & emergence in multiple directions as hands reach to connect through space, time & place.


Dense blues, verdant greens, crisp white and hot pink blend nature & nurture in an energetic flow of possibility & potential.



First Floor:


On the First Floor, adjacent to consulting rooms, we placed the two photo-collages by Barbara Nati.


Barbara Nati is a Italian prize winning artist, based in the UK, b 1980. She studied at the Parson School of Design, New York and has exhibited in the UK, Europe and the USA, where she was a resident artist at the Half Moon Bay Studios, California.

Barbara Nati's work addresses the impact of anthropogenic climate change.


'Briny Chronicles', series are inspired by the acidification process in our oceans. This is caused by the considerable amount of carbon dioxide ending up in the water from the atmosphere as a further consequence of pollution.


The photo-collages, Briny Chronicles II & IV, are framed limited edition prints, 100 x 70 cm.


Second Floor:


On the second floor we selected three paintings.


Two of them, Play and Climbing are by Rachel Mercer.


Rachel Mercer is an award winning artist based in London. Her paintings juxtapose everyday scenes with classical themes exploring lived experience by capturing the movement and actions of figures within space.


She takes her sketches back to the studio but works largely from the memory. Mercer is interested in playgrounds as a microcosm of human activity and interaction.


'Climbing', oil on board, 101 x 66, shows a figure within a climbing frame. It is one of a series of works by the artist featuring children's playgrounds where she spent time drawing.


In this image the paint is used to express the action, movement and feeling.


'Play', oil on board, 101 x 76 cm, shows children playing with a tyre- swing whilst luminous greens imply a summery grassy setting.


The force and vitality in the brushstrokes capture the action and speed of the moment. The figures and ground sit together on the surface of the painting which is wiped, scraped and reworked over time.



The third painting on this floor is 'Horse's Head III', mixed media on canvas, 138 x 146 cm by Rebecca Hardaker.


Rebecca Hardaker studied Classical Studies at the University of Manchester, before doing an MA in Heritage Management at the University of Birmingham and has exhibited widely in London and the UK.


The most important element of 'Horse's Head III' is to evoke a whimsical joy and the artists love for humour in her work. The painting features reoccurring motifs and rythmic mark making that she intends to conjure thoughts of the mythical and classical world.


Third Floor:


On the Third Floor, there are two paintings, both by Gala Bell.


Gala Bell is a London based multidisciplinary artist and graduate of the Royal College of Art and City and Guilds Art School.


The alchemy of matter is at the centre of her practice: Ignited by material experiences, art history fuses with divergent forms to explore new rituals in art making.


'Lilith', oil on canvas, 150 x 180 cm, is based on a female figure in Mesopotamian mythology, alternatively the first wife of Adam and supposedly the primordial she-demon. Lilith is cited as having been banished from the Garden of Eden for not complying and obeying Adam; she is often depicted as a woman fighting for equality and striving for fairness.



'Dendera', oil on canvas, 65 x 65 cm, is based on the Temple complex located in the south-east of Dendera, Egypt. It is one of the best-preserved in Egypt.


This work looks at the fragments of colour left on the interior frescoes of the temple of Hathor, allowing an abstraction to take over the original forms, describing the effect of dimmed light in the temple and the shifting of shapes that appear on the walls in semi-darkness.


These paintings explore the boundaries between recognition and abstraction, transforming the recognisable into the unfamiliar, depicting metamorphic spaces that contain traces of an original subject.




Fourth Floor:


On the fourth floor there are two paintings.


Lavender Green, triptych, oil on canvas 150 x 100 cm by Kama Zakirova.


Kama Zakirova is a figurative and abstract artist based in Bristol. She mainly works with watercolour paints and ballpoint pens on paper, and recently started exploring oil paints. Intuition is part of her process and through art Kama explores memories, connections, presence and absence, conscious and unconscious.


This painting was inspired by the beauty of lavender.


Instead of giving the spotlight to purples I'm exploring darker shades of green that bring lavender to life. These greens that wouldn't necessarily grab attention at first are combined with bright colours to give a feeling of the sunlight dancing on lavender stalks and leaves.


The second painting on this floor is ‘Steps’, oil on canvas, 160 x142 cm by Trevor Burgess.


Trevor Burgess is an artist and curator based in London. His urban space paintings are inspired by people's everyday lives in cities. He studied MA European Fine Art at Winchester School of Art after a first degree in Literature. He has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. In 2020 his painting, “Bakery” won an Artrepreneur International Award for Art of Everyday Life.


'Steps’ arose from an evening walk in Greenwich.


As well as being an urban scene this painting also looks at family relationships as well.


The young girl bounds down the steps with her parents watching behind and her younger brother coming after.


In the late light with the long shadows and the sitting man observing, it made a compelling image.



If you would like to find out more about the ‘Reflections’ art rental project, the artists taking part or how to buy one of the works shown, please contact us.


Also get in touch to find out more about our Corporate Services and how we can help your organisation start or build your corporate contemporary art collection.


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