Friday, 1 March 2019

New commission for Dorchester Hospital Trust, Dorset

My latest public art commission has been for Dorchester Hospital Trust, Dorset - as part of a project designed to raise the profile of and celebrate the gift of life through organ donation. There is currently an acute shortage of donors.

The project has been the initiative of the Organ Donation team at Dorset County Hospital, led by Consultant Anaesthetist Andy Ball and Specialist Nurse Helen Rose. The planning has involved spending time at the hospital speaking to the medical team, as well as organ recipients. 

The sculpture 'Precious Scars' uses the expired 'body' of an oak tree, kindly donated by the Lulworth Estate, where it died some time ago, and is now being re-born and reconstructed at the Hospital. It has been inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken ceramics are lovingly restored with gold covered resin to highlight their cracks - rather than attempting to hide them. In this way they are reused and their faults become a thing of beauty instead of being thrown away. I see this as a metaphor for the way in which organ donation is a gift of life that repairs the recipient. 

Special thanks must go to Graham and The Lulworth Estate also Sid from Wootton & Dawe who helped with installation. Images courtesy of Sandy Kirkby and Brendan Buesnel.

The donor tree in the woods near Lulworth
Off to the studio
Scaffolding up and ready for new donor branches

An example of Kintsugi ceramics

Wagon chassis incorporating support fins for the tree trunk
Branches returned to the truck
Gold leaf applied

Ready for installation on site

Installed on site at Dorchester Hospital

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