NHSGGC New Victoria and New Stobhill Hospitals 2008-09

Chris Fremantle was Public Art and Education Project Manager on the installation of two sets of public art commissions for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (2008-2009).

The New Stobhill and New Victoria Hospital are key parts of NHSGGC’s modernisation and service redesign programme.  Fremantle, working with curators/lead-artists, artists, architects, capital managers, commissioning managers, contractors and supporters, has been responsible for timetables and budgets, fund-raising, contracts, education and outreach.

PAR+RS recently published a photoessay by Chris Fremantle and Jackie Sands on these projects.

New Victoria Hospital

The New Victoria Art & Environment project has delivered permanently installed artworks by five artists, and is currently focused on a pilot programme of residencies and projects within the Hospital.

The New Victoria project was curated by PACE who focused on the links between the New Victoria Hospital and the nearby Queens Park.  PACE recruited Ally Wallace as Lead Artist. Ally developed an integrated coloured glazing scheme working closely with HLM Architects, and also developed a number of wall paintings for the basement car parking area.

A key part of the New Victoria Art & Environment project focused on Waiting Areas where Jacki Parry and Hanneline Visnes created a series of works permanently installed in five locations. Calum Stirling was commissioned to create the work, Sculpture Park, adjacent to the Hospital.

In addition HLM Architects developed the concept of a multimedia projector in the Atrium showing a range of artists’ film and video. An initial work drawing on the New Victoria, the Victoria Infirmary, Queens Park and the local area has been created by Ronnie Heeps.

New Stobhill Hospital

The New Stobhill Grove project has resulted in the installation of groups of works by five artists across the Hospital.

Thomas A Clark, poet and artist, working closely with Reiach & Hall Architects, wrote 37 short poems which have been installed throughout the Hospital. In response to these poems four visual artists have created a series of works.

Kenneth Dingwall painted a series of abstract designs focused on corners in surgical waiting areas. Olwen Shone, Andreas Karl Schulze and Thomas A Clark created a series of works within the main clinic waiting areas comprising 14 films of natural scenes installed on monitors and projectors and 130 small abstract compositions, juxtaposed with Clark’s poems. Donald Urquhart and Clark created a series of works entitled Six Landscapes in specialist clinic waiting areas. Urquhart also created Alphabet, a series of drawings of indigenous trees which are also keys to the ancient Gaelic alphabet.

See images on Thomas A Clark’s blog.

In parallel, and as a direct result of the work in the New Stobhill Hospital, a public art scheme has been completed for the adjacent entrance to Springburn Park. Developed and delivered by Alec Finlay and Platform Projects out of work with staff and patients in the Hospital as well as with users of the Park, this extends the ideas embedded in the Hospital. It has been implemented through a partnership between Glasgow City Council Land Services, Culture & Sport Glasgow and NHSGGC Endowments.

The New Stobhill Hospital has recently won a number of architectural awards including:

  • ‘Award for Best Hospital Design’ UK winner, Building Better Healthcare Awards 2009
  • Roses Design Awards 2009 ‘Best Public Building’ and ‘best of the best’ Architecture Grand Prix winner 2009
  • Glasgow Institute Architects ‘Best Healthcare Building’ winner 2009
  • Finalist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan ‘Best Building in Scotland’ Award 2009

Sanctuary Arts

The Sanctuaries in the two new Hospitals have been key areas of work, developed in partnership with the Spiritual Care teams. NHSGGC has committed to creating spaces which are multi-faith. Artists have worked closely with Spiritual Care to develop spaces which are reflective and calm.

Ronnie Heeps used the concept of ‘squaring the circle’ to develop the Sanctuary in the New Victoria Hospital. Circular motifs are juxtaposed with the rectilinear shape of the room. A dome with lighting is installed in the ceiling. Working in partnership with the Friends of the Victoria and Glasgow Metropolitan College a piece of furniture has been specially commissioned for the space.

Donald Urquhart, working closely with Clark and Schulze, developed the plan for the Sanctuary at the New Stobhill Hospital, which incorporates a poem, a wall painting and an installation, flooring and furniture.

Both Sanctuaries look out onto courtyards designed by the respective Architects.


An overarching outreach programme, Widening the Circle, is being implemented. This aims to extend the knowledge and experience of the members of the Steering Groups to other members of staff in the Hospitals.

The Arts & Health team have guided tours of the artworks installed in the New Hospitals.

Interpretation, signage and publications are being developed and distributed for both Hospitals.

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