Updating the site- art commissions

Hopefully you will be able to see my newest feature on the site, a Flickr photo stream. All of the photos are from the three art commissions that I have been involved in. Two of those commissions were split into two phases. I’ve decided to summarize them all in this post so you get a better understand of what you are looking at!

My first art commission was at Adelaide Health Centre, Millbrook. The facility is located on the west side of Southampton in England. During the first phase of artwork, I worked with an Arts Advisory Committee to advertise our commission, shortlist and interview artists and finally to work with the two selected artists. It was decided that the first phase of graphics needed to be installed in time for the handing over ceremony in October 2009. I worked with the artist, Kiran Chahal, to set up community workshops throughout July and August 2009. Participants took mono-coloured pictures of various objects which were used in the final artwork design. The artwork was installed in the central atrium of the health centre in late September. It is made of vinyl squares which are designed to lead the viewers towards the various color-coded departments. From far away, the artwork appears to be a band of graduating colors but as you approach the designs, you can see they are made up of many individual photographs.

During the second phase, I worked with Kiran on the second lot of graphics and with David Appleyard– the sculptor commissioned to create some outside artwork. Kiran worked with staff members to create more vinyl artwork in GP surgery part of the building. She also used the pictures from the earlier workshops to create large perspex pieces which are installed throughout the two upstairs departments. The artwork in the GP area concentrates on a consulting room which is used for treating children. Meanwhile David worked with the arts advisory committee to create artwork to be installed at the main entrance to the building. The sculpture is a series of wavy metal pieces which were inspired by the buildings namesake a ship that was used as a floating hospital.

My second commission was at a new adult mental health facility in Southampton called Antelope House. I worked with the construction team, architects and staff members to develop artwork that would enjoyed by staff and patients. The architects had designed the building to have a large light feature outside and I worked with them, a sign-making company and the staff to develop the water pattern featured on the fixture. I selected a new graphics artist to develop the bar code design on the wavy wall. This was another feature developed from the architect proposals. The artist worked with the staff to develop the color theme that was used and then created the design. I sourced a painter who worked with the construction crew to apply the design as specified by the artist, Peter Smart. The other part of the commission was a water feature which is enclosed in a sealed courtyard. I worked with water landscaping company, Aqua Landscaping, who created a low-maintenance design which is beautiful to watch and listen to. The main fountain creates a constant burbling noise with minimal splash. The two other fountains feature jumping jets of water which are lit with small lasers. There are also several strategically placed spot lights. The bottom of the pool is covered in pebbles with a few larger rocks.

The third commission I worked on was also split into two phases. Once again, I had the opportunity to work with Kiran Chahal. I set up a new arts advisory hospital for Fareham Community Hospital which was made up of staff, local public sector figures and a representative from the LIFT company in charge of the building. They worked with the artist to decide where they would like the graphics to be installed and set a deadline for the first phase in time for the Grand Opening of the building. I set up a number of community workshops where Kiran worked with Fareham residents to develop themes for the artwork. Participants created color columns which described a favorite memory or location of somewhere nearby. We located historical photos from the County Archive and also took pictures of the locations specified. Kiran used the written memories and the pictures we collected to create the large perspex pieces which are located in each of the four departments. The pieces use the color-coding in the departments which makes them integrate seamlessly with their environments. Kiran combined the color themes in the children’s area to create a colorful environment with a matching shapes activity. We finished the first two departments and the children’s area in time for the grand opening.

During the second phase, while Kiran finished the graphics for the remaining departments, I worked on a photography competition. It was advertised at the hospital, at a local camera club, with a nearby school, with the local Tourism department and at a local camera shop. The enthusiasm from the school was amazing and over 90% of the submissions came from them. 6 of the 7 winning photos were taken by local students aged 16 and under! They were also produced in perspex as it is easy to clean and the colors look so vibrant!

Anyway, that is my art commissioning history in a nutshell. Please have a look at the pictures and let me know what you think! I’d be happy to answer any questions.

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