Commemorative sculpture unveiled at Southmead Hospital

A photo of 7 people next to a bronze sculpture

A sculpture commemorating the way patients, NHS staff and local communities have got through the Covid-19 pandemic together has been unveiled at Southmead Hospital.

LOVE HOPE STRENGTH was inspired by wonderful poetry and stories from patients in our Fresh Arts creative writing programme who were reflecting on the events of the pandemic.

Using the technique of water cutting, artist Tom Hiscocks carved their words into phosphorus bronze which is shaped into a form and stands like an obelisk in the grounds to prompt people walking past to pause and reflect on the extraordinary, sometimes unfathomable experience we have all shared.

The artwork, located outside our maternity services reception, includes the words:

“Skylarks whistle down the wind. I pause, exhilarated by the feast of nature. Warm wind and I can breathe again.

“Where would we be without the tree – the oxygen they give us to breath, their beauty, stability, love of the earth, life, death, rebirth.

“The world has made us listen, deepening friendship in these quieter times.”

Tom said:

“The shape of the sculpture is designed as a beacon; it is aspirational – reaching up - which seemed to me to reflect the resilience of the community.

“I was very inspired by the words and humbled to be able to create a vehicle to carry them.

“I hope they will inspire Love, Hope and Strength in future members of the Southmead Hospital community.”

North Bristol NHS Trust Chief Executive Maria Kane said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on our lives which will be felt for many years to come.

“Yet the challenges we have faced together have also united us in solidarity.

“This artwork is a lovely tribute our patients, staff and communities.”

Three groups of patients attending our Arts on Referral art groups produced 26 pieces of work that were exhibited in the Brunel building between November 2020 and March 2021. 

Fresh Arts Manager Donna Baber said:

“We’re so glad that we have been able to continue to support our patients wellbeing throughout the pandemic by running our arts groups online.

“During difficult times, love, hope and strength has continued to be found by our patients every day.

“Thank you to everyone involved.”