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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cancer Services

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Art in the Cancer and Haematology Centre

'Landscape: bringing the outside in'

An art programme, based on the theme of 'Landscape: bringing the outside in', has been specially developed as part of the new Cancer Centre. Some of the artworks have been commissioned as part of the fabric of the new building and designed to enhance entrance spaces. Others have been commissioned and purchased for courtyards, long corridors and all single rooms. The aim of the art programme has been to create a welcoming and inspiring space for all - to distract and engage patients and visitors and provide a positive and uplifting working environment for staff.

The majority of the artwork has been funded by Churchill Construction Consortium as part of their agreement with the Trust. Other works have been funded by charitable gifts and donations.

The main entrance

'Water Falls' by Andrew Moor and Harry Cardross

Water Falls'Water Falls' greets you as you enter the building. The glass 'water' cascades down a 'rock face' and meanders slowly in gentle curves to the base of the stairs. As you move around it the colours shift, like shimmering water. The idea for the artwork came from the architect and has been interpreted and realised by the artists.

'Ginkgo Leaves' by Tanja Entwistle

Close-up of Ginkgo LeavesThe brilliantly coloured glass 'Ginkgo Leaves' lead you up to the first floor. According to the artist, the ginkgo, a tree that has survived from ancient times, is 'an apt metaphor for the principles which underpin the creation of the Cancer Centre'.

'Old New Borrowed Blue' by Robert Dawson

Old New Borrowed BlueIn the cafe area, on the wall of the breast screening unit, is a blue and white ceramic tiled mural based on the 'willow pattern', an English 18th Century design inspired by Chinese porcelain. It tells the story of star-crossed lovers who meet on a bridge, and are transformed into birds.

Radiotherapy area (left of main entrance)

'Hawthorn Hall of Mirrors (454308E - 205690N)' by Liz Rideal

Close-up of Hawthorn Hall of MirrorsA wall of sandblasted and acid-etched mirrors greets visitors as they enter. The mirrors simultaneously reflect the outside environment and the people who use the building. The design, based on images of a hawthorn tree close to the Centre, retains its scale, whilst visitors add their changing reflections.

The title '454308E - 205690N' refers to the location of the hawthorn tree.

The link corridor

'History Wall' by John Gillett and Bashir Makhoul

History WallThe History Wall has been created from an archive of photographs collected by Ken Hanks, Head of Estates and Facilities, which depict life in the Churchill Hospital from its earliest beginnings in the second world war.

The work combines historical and contemporary images, using 'Microlens' glazing to combine multiple images which switch between past and present as you walk by.

Chemotherapy entrance

'The Garden' by Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer

The GardenThree images create life-size illusory windows through the wall of the main corridor to the Chemotherapy Department, and one creates an illusory doorway in the Chemotherapy waiting room. Through these we see photographic views of an imaginary walled 'Physic' garden (a garden of healing plants).

'Gallery walls' for corridor spaces

Six Oxfordshire photographers have created landscape-based photographs for specific areas of the new building.

The artists are:

  • Jan Palmer (Radiotherapy and corridor by Haematology)
  • Adrian Arbib (Radiology and corridor leading to Radiotherapy)
  • Judie Waldmann (corridor between Upper GI ward and CICU)
  • Lou Spence (corridor by the Women's Health Ward)
  • Malcolm Glover (by the Oncology ward)
  • Emma Findley (by Oncology Administration)

Courtyards and gardens

Radiotherapy Courtyard

A pair of glass towers by Anne Arlidge

Main Entrance Courtyard

A glass cube etched with an image of a small boy by Helen Slater

Private Patients' Courtyard

A fountain by David Harber

American Garden

Armillary sphere An armillary sphere etched with American and British time by David Harber, celebrating the American army's association with the hospital (see History)

Oncology Garden

Mosaic tableA bench and table by Rodas Design, the latter inlaid with mosaic by Emma Biggs

Artworks for all single rooms

Artwork for single roomsWorking with the Oxfordshire Visual Arts Development Agency (OVADA) we have purchased over 100 pictures from Oxfordshire artists for single bedrooms, day rooms, interview rooms and ward corridors. Students from Oxford Brookes University and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art have created new artworks for some of these spaces as part of a professional development project.

Artwork already owned by wards and departments has been reframed in elegant ash frames to complement the presentation of the new work.

We are enormously grateful to Churchill Construction Consortium for their funding and support of this art programme, as well as those whose donations have helped to make it possible.

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