15 September 2017

unveiling-a-kaleidoscope-of-butterflies-1‘A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies’, The Royal Bournemouth Hospital Organ Donation Commemorative artwork was officially unveiled on Friday 8 September, a date specially chosen during Organ Donation Week.

unveiling-the-plaque-with-Lottie-&-MichelleMany organ donor families were invited, a very moving experience for all. Michelle (CLOD, Clinical Lead Organ Donation) gave a short speech to thank everyone, especially the organ donor families, while Lottie unveiled the plaque. Tony took photos of the event (apart from the one above). My only job was to turn the lights of the sculpture on so that the full beauty of the suspended butterflies could be appreciated.


26 September 2016

Unveiling of the Medway Organ Donor ArtThe Medway Hospital Organ Donation Commemorative Artwork was officially unveiled on 8 September by Brigadier Peter Gilbert, Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

Dr Paul Hayden, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at the hospital said, “… the fact are that one person can help up to nine persons by becoming an organ donor. So it’s an immense act of generosity.”

Karen and Tony pictured with Dr Paul Hayden on far rightPresenters on BBC South East spoke about how last year almost half of families who were asked for permission to donate refused. However, almost 90% of relatives gave consent if they know it’s what the person who died has wanted.

Have a look at our Medway Hospital Organ Donation Art page by clicking where the video of the BBC South East news report has now been added.


9 December 2015

Gift of Life Dandelion Seedheads close-upThis past weekend, whilst other parts of the country were suffering floods, we spent a very enjoyable time in and around Plymouth. This was not simply a weekend break though, as part of the time was spent in the main entrance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. The reason we were in Plymouth was to oversee the installation of our latest organ donation art that began on Friday morning – with much excited eagerness on our part!

Installation of Plymouth Organ Donation ArtHuge thanks go to the installation team, whose composed attention to detail and expertise takes the pressure out of what could be a very stressful situation. Even when everything has been planned meticulously, spares have to be in supply just in case slight, at the last minute, amendments need to be made!

Plymouth Hospital Seedheads close-upEven though we have viewed the artwork on computer many times, Photoshopping the design onto images of the hospital wall, the final scale just takes our breath away! And indeed the comments we received from many people passing along the corridor showed they felt the same way! It is at times like these that we both feel extremely elated that as artists we are doing all we can to bring the message of organ donation to life, whilst at the same time creating a stunning piece of art for all to appreciate.

Plymouth Organ Donation Art Unveiling EventMonday morning was the inauguration ceremony led by Martin Walker, Chair of the PHNT Organ Donation Committee, who said: “The Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Organ Donation Committee wished to formally and publicly acknowledge the profound generosity of organ donors, and their families who so kindly supported their decision, by commissioning a suitable piece of art.”

Sean Carey, Principal Clinical Scientist in the Combined Labs at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, donated a kidney to his older brother Julian in June 2013. He said: “From the donor’s point of view it is such a safe thing to do and there is no change in lifestyle. From the recipient’s point of view my brother has just come back from a two week holiday which he would not have been able to have before the transplant and he is in full time work which was severely curtailed previously by dialysis three times a week and periods of illness.”

Showing the scale of the new Plymouth Organ Donation ArtAnd Tony, while being interviewed for ITV West Country News, said: “The design provides a strong metaphor for survival – the dandelion seed heads being nature’s timepiece and the seeds themselves leading to regeneration, restoration and the continuation of life. It will provide a focus of attention in the main concourse and be a fitting tribute and recognition of the generosity contained within the act of organ donation.”


22 November 2011

Members of the Charitable Appeals Trust turned up for their regular evening meeting to be greeted by three colourful illustrated murals. After 25 years and having raised over £2.3 million, our murals are to be a permanent reminder to all visitors to the Children Centre in the King’s Mill Hospital of their significant achievements. In fact, as Frances Stein, Chairman of the Appeals Trust informed me on the telephone the next morning, it was to be their very last meeting.

Tony had been present to oversee the installation of the murals, but this evening’s celebrations were the first time I had viewed them personally. We arrived slightly before everyone else to photograph our latest project, and I was extremely impressed with the high quality of print and fitting. It’s wonderful when you have spent so much time and injected so much enthusiasm into a project that the end result appears just how you expected.

And, I wasn’t the only one to be impressed! We were congratulated many times by the Trust members on our creativity to create a bright colourful mural that not only appeals to children, young people and their parents, but also acknowledges the generosity of the local community and the massive achievements of the Charitable Appeals Trust.


13 July 2011

The Stead Hospital mural was officially unveiled on 5 July by the League of Friends and the Chair of NHS Redcar and Cleveland.

I commented on how everyone was dressed up in beautiful colours suitable for a summers day apart from myself, (I was dressed up, but in black and white). Joan Elders of the League of Friends gave a speech and I was thrilled to be presented with a large colourful bunch of flowers which totally cheered up my outfit! Tony was also presented with a bottle of wine.


13 July 2011

In 2008 the hospital received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a heritage mural to be displayed in the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre’s main atrium. Since then the hospital has enlisted local primary and secondary schools to help research the history of the hospital.

Children from Windmill Primary School in Headington joined in the ceremony on 7 June to unveil our latest heritage project to patients, visitors and staff at the NOC. Everyone rushed forward to get a closer view as the mural, fitted to the large circular column at the centre of the atrium, was gradually unveiled.


24 November 2010

We realised from the very beginning, well as soon as we had visited the site, that a heritage mural would be totally out of place in a Children’s Emergency Waiting Room. We needed to promote that the Trustees of the Mansfield Gospel Mission Church had given a very substantial donation, to enable the department to be stocked with much needed specialised medical equipment, toys and play equipment. At the same time create a display that was bright, cheerful and appealing to children and young people for years to come.

Taking on board the fact that the major part of the ministry at The Mission was for the welfare of local children, and included many musical activities, influenced my initial sketches for the mural. We were supplied with many historical photos at The Mission, but one little photo just immediately sang out to me! This was of a little girl dressed in her oversized father’s brass band jacket, and blowing on his tuba! This immediately inspired me to use this photo, cut-out and hand coloured, to base my illustration around.

First of all, I illustrated ribbons snaking their way out of the tuba and framing the wording; “The Gospel Mission helped fund this Emergency Department for Children and Young People specially for YOU!” I then set the little girl in a garden scene of blowsy hollyhocks, swaying daisies, fluttering butterflies and gliding dragonflies. I also illustrated more musical instruments, including a concertina, which was an integral part of the musical activities enjoyed by children at The Mission.

I designed the whole mural to fit part of the wall around the reception desk, the little girl playing the tuba features at child-height, which is also perfect for people to view whilst sat in the waiting area. An historical photo taken inside The Gospel Mission was positioned alongside a brief resume of its history, at a perfect height to be read by adults whilst waiting at the reception desk.

We often include some form of illustrations, for example, the full size trees and nursing staff marching along a country lane for The Friarage Hospital mural completed in 2005. Though a large illustration, this was still just a frame for the whole mural. This present mural though, has been the first where the history has been included as just a part of a bright, colourful illustration. I have thoroughly enjoyed letting my realms of imagination take flight in this direction, and hope that more similar projects will come our way in future.

As I work from sketches and then draw them up onto a computer, the artwork is not directly painted to the hospitals’ walls, but printed onto a tough, long lasting textured laminate. This is then permanently ‘wallpapered’ to the prepared wall, and can be kept clean to meet infection control procedures. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project – Karen van de Bospoort.

On Tuesday 9 November there was a Dedication Ceremony for hospital staff and members of the Gospel Mission, who were invited to view the proceeds of their generosity.  BBC Radio Nottingham recorded the ceremony and everyone was later treated to a buffet lunch.


11 August 2010


Installation of the mural showing polished oak frameWe arrived at the hospital the day before the official unveiling along with the specialists we work with for print, construction and installation. Even though we had been to their workshop to double-check everything beforehand, it is always exciting to be on site coordinating the final installation. We had taken close-up photos of the hospital’s wood panelling giving detail of the polished oak grain, the mural frame matched this perfectly. Installation went very smoothly and we were all treated to lunch in the hospital’s canteen. Later we wrapped the mural in brown paper with a poster explaining when it was to be unveiled, and attached a red ribbon tied in a bow.

We travelled again to Lincolnshire the next morning to attend the Hospital’s Open Day. We arrived in Gainsborough to beautiful, hot, sunny weather. There was a lovely ‘garden party’ feel to all the stalls laid out on the large lawn in front of the grand Georgian style hospital. We joined a special guided tour of the operating section of the hospital, where I picked up an old-fashioned operating instrument and (unfortunately) got the answer to, “what exactly were these gruesome looking instruments used for?!”

Bob Rainsford & Ian Loxley unveiling the muralAt the appointed time we gathered in the main corridor, and there was a short speech from Matron Jill Anderson. Two specially invited guests; Bob Rainsford, local dignitary, and Ian Loxley, supplier of the story of WWII shrapnel that had been removed from his mothers’ leg; then cut the ribbon and tore off the brown paper to unveil the mural.

Jill Anderson presenting me with a bunch of flowersMuch to my surprise, I was presented with a large bunch of flowers, and Tony a very nice bottle of wine. It had been a very enjoyable project to work on, and I can’t wait to design the next mural that will follow work to develop the hospital site.


17 November 2009

Thursday 5th November 2009 – Pictured here with Josie Aston, the installation team were fast and efficient so that the displays were fixed in place within a couple of hours. The mural and contributors panel are sited just beyond the main entrance of Orpington Hospital in Greater London.

Friday 6th November 2009 – Canadian television crew from CBC News arrive at 2pm. They spend the next 2 hours interviewing veterans, staff, researchers and Tony, about the design concepts and themes running through the displays. They also filmed the war graves in the churchyard’s ‘Canadian Corner’ before returning to film the official unveiling ceremony.

Josie Aston, who lead the project, fundraised and also wrote the final text, opened the proceedings, giving background information about how the project started and thanking all those involved.

Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Janelle, Army Adviser to the Canadian High Commission, assisted by a Canadian boy scout, tore off the brown wrapping paper to unveil the mural. Members of the British Legion, who actively supported the project were in attendance amongst the large audience.

The CBC News crew carried on their interviews following the official opening.
Their report was shown that evening on the main evening news in Canada.


5 November 2009

King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was originally the first United States Army Hospital established in England during WWII.

We have designed 6 murals and 10 giant banners, to hang above the murals, to be displayed along the entire length of the new King’s Treatment Centre. We based the design for each of the 10 wall hanging banners on a movie poster from the corresponding period. The King’s Treatment Centre street, with its 9m high walls and huge opaque domed roof structure, will link the whole of the new hospital.

The official opening day with a special 1940s themed dedication ceremony was held at King’s Mill Hospital, on Friday 4 July 2008, the American Day of Independence. This coincided with celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service in Britain.

A former US soldier and a Mansfield GI bride were invited from America to be guests of honour at the launch. The local BBC featured the hospital and its American guests every evening in the week leading up to and including the event. There was extensive coverage in the local press and also in local newspapers in America. Ex-servicemen were also interviewed at the BBC in Washington.