Art inside Southmead Hospital's Brunel building

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Art has been incorporated into the new Brunel building at Southmead Hospital Bristol to enhance the experience of patients and visitors.

Artworks have been commissioned to improve the environment inside and outside of the new building while also providing therapeutic areas for patients.

Art has been incorporated into the new hospital design because the arts have been proven to improve the patient environment. Studies have shown that the hospital environment and the use of arts can reduce the amount of time patients stay in hospital and the amount of medication they require.

Animals with ailments are taking up home outside of the Brunel. The series of five bronze sculptures features different animals with injuries. The first – a trio of monkeys – has already taken residence outside the new emergency department .

Artist Laura Ford’s collection of animals includes a bear with a sore back, a hyena with an injured neck and an elephant with a lump in its trunk, which will be installed around the approach and entrance to the new Brunel building.

A medical day garden has also been set up outside the building to provide a therapeutic outdoor space for patients.

Sculptural screens have been created by Jacqueline Poncelet and are set up alongside seats within the garden to give patients somewhere to sit and appreciate the garden. The screens depict a pattern of gingko leaves - known for its medicinal properties.

Also in the medical day garden is a stone water feature sculpted by artist Peter Randall. A boulder sculpted to create a ripple effect is set within a circle of pebbles.

Inside the large public atrium of the Brunel building a stunning light installation has been created by artist Tobias Rehberger. The hanging artwork consists of hoops and poles suspended from the glass ceiling of the hospital building which light up and can also be used to tell the time.

In the courtyards between the ward blocks of the Brunel building artwork has been used to create more attractive views. Sculptures in different colours created by artist Jaime Hayón stand on poles within the courtyard gardens to improve the outlook for patients and visitors in the hospital.

In the deep courtyard artist Ally Wallace’s colourful discs have been set up on poles of varying height to create interest within the garden area.

Find out more about the arts around the Brunel building.

Find out more about the impact of the arts on health at Fresh Arts