Recent Installations
Detail of Folio. Copyright © Michael Craig-Martin. Image courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Imperial College
Healthcare Charity
Art Collection

Recent Installations

Our art collection focuses on 20th century and contemporary British art which we display in wards, outpatient units and public spaces. Here is a selection of recent installations of art works across our hospital sites.

Brian Eno in the Nuclear Imaging Department at Hammersmith Hospital

Brian Eno is a British artist, musician and composer who studied painting and experimental music at art school in the late 1960s. Regarded as a principal innovator of ambient music and generative painting, he has been exhibiting his visual art since the 1970s.

Eno has exhibited internationally, and in 2009 he was invited to exhibit on the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Alongside the visual arts, Eno has had a prolific music career, releasing twenty-five studio albums and producing forty-three albums including those by U2, Coldplay and Talking Heads.

The works on display aptly focus on the possibility of light, the lenticular images made by lenses, giving an illusion of depth and animation. As you walk past, the forms within the work begin to move and the colours begin to intensify and fade, bringing the 2D work to life. Similarly the prints, whilst appearing static, are given an energy by the range of colours. The square in the centre of each print is the same colour, and yet the colours framing the central square affect our perception of that deep blue.

We are grateful to Paul Stolper for donating a print to the collection and the gallery’s generosity in realising this installation.

Brian Eno Collage

Lisa Creagh in the IVF clinic at Hammersmith Hospital


Lisa Creagh is a British photographer based in London. She graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1994 before continuing with a Masters in Photography at Brighton University. After working as an artist in New York for several years, Creagh returned to the UK and cofounded The Brighton Photo Fringe in 2003; a city-wide photography festival running in conjunction with the Brighton Photo Biennial. 

The works on display are from Creagh’s The Instant Garden series (2010). Her work is based around the concept of creation within both the natural and digital worlds. For these works, Creagh took composite images of industrially grown flowers – petals, leaves and stalks -- digitally manipulating them to create kaleidoscopic gardens.

Creagh created this series of work when she was experiencing a number of health problems. In the process, she researched and included many ancient sacred symbols associated with healing, inspired by the idea of the ‘essence’ of flowers having a curative effect. She believes that exhibiting fine art outside traditional museum and gallery spaces is very powerful. She writes: ‘I believe in art as a common language across class and cultures so I believe strongly that it must work in lots of different contexts and not rely on the neutrality and artificiality of the white cube space.’

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Fran Giffard in the Paediatric Clinical Decision Unit at St Mary’s Hospital

Fran Giffard studied Fine Art Drawing at Camberwell College of Art and has exhibited her work internationally and throughout the UK. She was shortlisted for the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year and has had several solo exhibitions, including the Northcote Gallery in Chelsea and the Someth1ng Gallery in Honor Oak.

The vinyl prints and light boxes on display feature her trademark vivid drawings of birds from around the world drawn over her personal diary pages, these help transform the feel of the department and offers children something to focus on at what can be a very distressing time.

“I’ve tried to cater for the patients in the room”, said Giffard. “There are colourful, friendly birds, birds that they’ll recognise like parrots and penguins and the diary pages reference London landmarks.”

“The nurses said it was useful to have these as a visual distraction so if they’re giving injections or taking blood they can ask ‘how many penguins can you see?’ and that way the patient is entertained in the middle of a stressful situation.”

The four-bed Clinical Decision Unit provides dedicated facilities for children who need further assessment and was created as part of a charity-funded £3.5m upgrade for the A&E department.

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Emma Haworth and Chris Orr in the Emergency Department at St Mary's hospital.

The artworks by Emma Haworth and Chris Orr RA, now installed in the department, have been specially commissioned by the Charity’s art collection. The recent £3.2 million upgrade of the department has been funded by the Charity. The works on display showcase the nearby Paddington area and provide a serene, calming effect in what is often a stressful environment.

Emma Haworth has an MA in Drawing in the Fine Art Practice from Wimbledon School of Art. She is known for painting urban scenes based on her acute observation of the ebb and flow of modern life.  Her works are held in many private and public collections including UBS Art Collection and the Lister Hospital. Her works of the surrounding areas in all four seasons:  the canal at Paddington basin, Little Venice, Paddington Green with St Mary’s Church and Rembrandt Park, have been translated onto vinyl wallpaper in the department’s main corridor. Her Four Seasons work is now installed in the X-Ray reception area.

Emma Haworth said: "I wanted something that would reflect the area we’re in and the people that use it. It’s quite a transient area with lots of tourists and workers as well as the community that live here. We didn’t want it too urban, we wanted more trees and green so we just looked at the parks and nice areas nearby where people have lunch and rest for a bit."

"I liked doing it and it was really interesting. I think you’re more aware of putting more things in and giving more narrative for the picture when you know it’s going to be in a hospital. I think it’ll take your mind off being in a hospital and have a calming effect."

Royal Academician Chris Orr studied at the Royal College of Art where he worked as Professor of Printmaking from 1998 to 2008. His work is held in The Government Art Collection, Tate Britain and the V&A Museum. His idea for the commission was for an artwork to go in the department which would help people look out and think beyond the experience of being in hospital. He started by drawing St Mary’s hospital’s surrounding area from the QEQM building’s roof.

Chris Orr said: “I wanted to encourage a day dream into the world outside. From St Mary's it is possible to see the Wembley Arch, The Royal Albert Hall, The Trellick Tower, The Post Office Tower, The Shard and much more with which people could identify.” He then returned to his studio and added additional details to the panorama. “In the canal I put a fish typical of the inland waterways, a Chubb. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer of the Great Western Railway makes an appearance as well as Paddington Bear adjacent to the concourse of the station.”

He continues: “The basis of the work is observational drawing, but this is just the foundation, and the subsequent picture takes us into what can be seen and unseen, fact and fiction, past and present. I hope that the viewer will be encouraged to take a journey.”

Emma Haworth

 Chris Orr sketching on QEQM roof


Susan Collins in the Acute Medical Unite at Charing Cross Hospital

Susan Collins is a BAFTA nominated British artist who is currently Professor of Fine Art and Director of the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. She’s been a practitioner in the field of new and emerging media art since the late 1980’s. Her work is held in many public collections, including the Government Art Collection and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter.

The works on display here are from Susan Collins’ Wembury & Woolacombe (2015-6) series which recorded the view from the North and South Devon coast across a whole year. Each image has been constructed line by line over the time it takes for the tide to go in or out and accumulated to form an archive of the year, from which these prints are a small selection.

Susan Collins commented: “I am delighted to have these works installed in Charing Cross hospital. As well as being about healing and caring, hospitals, for patients and their visitors, are often about time and waiting. These works are also, in a different way, about time, with both time and memory embedded into the images. They also provide a connection with nature, the coast, the outside beyond the city, the hospital ward, the corridors.”

Zinka Zecevic, Occupational Therapist at the Acute Medical Unit said of the works: “The art has transformed the appearance of the ward. It was a unique experience to be able to visit and speak to the artist and have access to her work and have the opportunity to select the pieces from a much wider portfolio.”

Susan Collins install 2Nicholas Hughes and Harry Cory Wright in the Fraser Gamble Ward at Hammersmith Hospital

These artists' works capture the beauty of the British coastline and were previously part of our Art in Focus series. British photographer Nicholas Hughes studied for a MA at the London College of Communication. His work examines both the environmental impact of population growth and the places in which nature still dominates.

The works on display are from his series Seascapes. They capture the intensity of sunlight reflected on the sea along the East Sussex coastline, the early morning sun as it rises on the Welsh coastline and the sea fog rolling in on a Cornish shore.

Harry Cory Wright lives and works in Norfolk. Both his works on display are from the series Anglia (2015), in which he explores the eastern lowlands of the British Isles. Working with his 8 x 10" camera, Cory Wright captures the sun as it rises and sets over the flat, expansive East Anglian coastline.
We are grateful for both Harry Cory Wright and Nicholas Hughes' generosity in realising this installation.

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Tim Head in the Peters and De Wardener Wards at Hammersmith Hospital

Tim Head is a British artist best known for his vibrant, abstract prints. His work has been displayed internationally, including at the Venice Biennale, Modern Art Oxford and Whitechapel Gallery. It’s also held in many public collections including Tate; the British Council Collection, Arts Council Collection, British Museum and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Previously on display in the Cambridge Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, the works on display showcase Tim Head's investigation of the digital medium and its relationship with the physical world. In 2014, Head described the works as 'fabricated within the remoteness of digital space and falling to earth as a fine deposit of inks.'

Dr Neill Duncan, Renal Consultant on the Peters Ward, said: “We were delighted by the Charity’s art team who responded quickly when we asked if they had anything in the collection that could brighten and add interest to the ward for patients and staff alike. “

“The works are brightly coloured kaleidoscopic dots, coral-like, overlap and are dynamic and fun. They grace the halls and the side rooms and have been praised by visitors moving through and patients staying longer. We would welcome all to come and see.”

We are grateful for Tim Head and his gallery Parafin's generosity in realising this installation.

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Tom Hammick in the Neuro-Rehabilitation unit at Charing Cross Hospital

Tom Hammick is a British artist based in East Sussex and London, best known for his paintings and prints. His work is held in many public collections including the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Yale Centre for British Art, and The Library of Congress, Washington DC.

The 10 works on display demonstrate Hammick’s imaginative handling of colour and placement of figures, alone or in groups. Often working through the night, Hammick conjures dusk, dawn or moonlight with his palette of beautiful colours. The pair of woodcuts, Compound Day and Compound Night, illustrate his fascination with showing how the same building appears in different light.

Tom Hammick prints from woodblocks, working with blocks and boards which have a distinct grain which he uses to give texture to features such as the sky and water in his works. He builds up areas of colour by layering pigments, dark tones over light. His work draws on a rich array of influences and inspirations from both art and literature.

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David Mach in the Riverside wing at Charing Cross Hospital

David Mach is an internationally respected artist best known for his commissioned sculptures and large-scale pictorial collages. He works with found materials to create works of art reflecting contemporary life. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1998. 

His four works entitled Visit London installed in the Riverside wing were originally commissioned to celebrate the London Olympics. They are colourful photographic collages filled with Mach’s sense of fun giving us the opportunity to view the well-known sights of London populated with amusing scenes. Iconic sights featured include Piccadilly Circus, The Globe Theatre and the Gherkin. 
David Mach comments “I’m all for hanging art in hospitals. Visit London is my second permanent display in Charing Cross Hospital. I’ve also helped to curate work in Aberdeen’s Royal Infirmary. I think art hanging on the walls of a hospital is part of dealing with being there as a patient and as a visitor. It’s part of feeling and getting better. And of course, it’s not just for patients and visitors; it’s for doctors, nurses and other hospital workers too. Everyone needs a good physical and spiritual environment to operate in and this is a marvellous way to support our wonderful NHS.”
David Mach
Bettina von Zwehl’s Profile III in the birth centre at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital

Bettina von Zwehl is an internationally renowned photographer famous for photographic portraits and her fascination with the human face and human relations. She was born in Berlin and gained a BA in photography from London College of Printing. Her more prominent works include athlete portraiture for the commission Road to 2012 in the lead up to the London Olympics. 

We first displayed Profile III as one of our art in focus exhibitions to coincide with the launch of our appeal to raise funds for the new birth centre. At the popular request of staff we then moved the exhibition to the new birth centre when it opened. The work is a set of six photographs of beautiful 12 month old boys and girls in a style reminiscent of Italian renaissance portrait paintings. The subject matter is a great fit for the birthing centre especially as Bettina’s aim was to present each child as an intelligent being - a perfect match for a space created for expecting parents.  


Bettina von Zwehl



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