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ORGAN DONATION ART FOR THE ROYAL BOURNEMOUTH HOSPITAL – OFFICIAL UNVEILING OF ‘A KALEIDOSCOPE OF BUTTERFLIES’

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.

ORGAN DONATION ART FOR THE ROYAL BOURNEMOUTH HOSPITAL – INSTALLATION OF ‘A KALEIDOSCOPE OF BUTTERFLIES’

13 September 2017

indiviually coloured butterfliesJOURNEY TO THE SOUTH COAST

So … the butterflies are complete, each one individually coloured and lacquered then connected to a thin metal wire before being sealed safely inside their own envelope. The top hanging plate is fitted with electrics ready to be connected to the hoist already installed in the main atrium at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital by the estates department. Everything, including the information plaque, is wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap to keep safe during the journey down to the south coast.

hanging the top plate from belowA BIT OF HEAVY WORK!

Installation starts after evening visiting hours. We wait for the last individuals to leave via the staircase before we can tape off the area and begin to lower the hoist in readiness to attach the top hanging plate and then fix the eight eyeball spotlights into their allocated apertures. Big thanks to Lottie (SNOD, Senior Nurse Organ Donation, at Royal Bournemouth) who turned up with three large bags of chocolates to give us plenty of energy during our night stint!

hanging the top plate from aboveThis photo demonstrates how the vertical ‘lip’ on the top plate hides all the necessary electrics. It also shows the numbering so we knew exactly which butterfly to fit to which pinprick!

threading butterflies one by oneONE HUNDRED BUTTERFLIES

It isn’t until after midnight that we can begin to attach the butterflies. Every numbered envelope contains a single butterfly fitted with a different length of wire. Each number corresponds to a numbered hole the size of a pinprick on the top hanging plate. Really the only way to see each particular hole is by shining a torchlight through from above. It is that exact! So … it’s spectacles at the ready, utilise my previous curtain making skills, and begin this precise threading the needle type of activity!

crimping butterflies from aboveEach wire thread is crimped and held into place from above before the next butterfly is selected.

hoist going up!When all one hundred butterflies are in place it’s time to work the wonders of the hoist. It’s not until the completed sculpture clicks into the mechanics already assembled in the roof space that the lights come on – to accompanying “wows and ahhs” from all four of us doing the night shift!

A KALEIDOSCOPE OF BUTTERFLIES – PROGRESS OF OUR LATEST ORGAN DONATION MEMORIAL SCULPTURE

12 September 2017

First Concepts for PresentationModern digital communication is a wonderful thing! Before our first face-to-face meeting with the organ donation committee at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, we had already received photos of a potential location for the artwork and designed concepts that were revised a number of times. One concept, as Bournemouth is a seaside town, was to utilise seashells in a ‘Fibonacci’ inspired spiral.

Four selected butterflies - native to DorsetWHY BUTTERFLIES?

Initial feedback was, the committee loved the suspended spiral sculpture but preferred the use of butterflies instead of seashells. Reason being; when a patient is going through end of life care at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital images of blue butterflies are attached to drawn curtains to ensure the patient and visitors are left in peace.

Also, butterflies, through their ongoing life cycles, capture the idea of metamorphosis or rebirth. Therefore, butterflies link perfectly as a thought provoking visual metaphor with the theme of organ donation when associated with ‘the Gift of Life’ wording. And of course, as perfectionists, to reflect the region where the hospital is situated we chose to represent species of butterflies found at Dorset Nature Reserves as a creative starting point.

Fine tuning - butterfly shapes & patternsFINE-TUNING – BUTTERFLY WING SHAPES & PATTERNS

We designed four large-scale butterflies to be created from lightweight anodised aluminium, detailed patterns cut out of the metal to resemble the wing shapes and patterns of original butterfly species. The material and technique chosen ensures each butterfly will have strength for longevity and safety in a hospital environment whilst conveying a fragile, lacy and also a seemingly transparent beauty. To design each one took time; sketching out many shapes, then hand cutting the forms from thin card to ensure that each butterfly featured beautiful silhouettes that wouldn’t collapse when held up to the light.

Examining prototype butterflyCOLOURING

Each butterfly was never meant to be an exact depiction, but rather a creative representation. We chose four colourways, purple to blue to turquoise to green, to harmonise collectively and complement colours already in use at the hospital. So the next undertaking was to create four coloured patterns of shimmering iridescent colours that resemble the flash of a butterflies’ wing in its fluttering flight. Working alongside the specialists, Digital Plus, a complex technique was devised to individually print and lacquer these patterns onto the aluminium butterfly shapes so that they glimmer and shine in the barest of lights.

Creating the half scale mockupHALF SCALE MOCK-UP

We created a half-scale model to determine positioning and quantity of butterflies and cable lengths. This stage is essential before creating all components of the final sculpture!

TechnicalitiesTECHNICALITIES!

So many technicalities: choosing lights that will show up every section of the sculpture magnificently, choice of hoist so that the completed sculpture can be kept spotless, what type of scissor lift to use for installing as safely as possible, etc, etc. And of course, everything discussed many times with the hospital estates department and health and safety carefully considered.

Information wall plaqueINFORMATION WALL PLAQUE

To ensure all medical staff, patients and visitors to the hospital can fully understand the importance of the suspended sculpture now residing in the main atrium of their hospital we always design an additional wall plaque that succinctly explains it all!

INITIAL PAPER CUT-OUTS FOR NEW ORGAN DONATION PROJECT – DUE FOR COMPLETION SEPTEMBER 2017

12 June 2017

blog-stages-of-design-20We have a number of projects where our initial ideas have been viewed, favourites chosen and agreed upon. Here is one of them depicting the beginnings of the next stage.

FESPA INTERNATIONAL GOLD AWARD FOR MEDWAY HOSPITAL ORGAN DONATION ARTWORK

12 June 2017

FESPA Gold Award for MedwayWe are immensely proud to have won for the third time at the FESPA International Print Awards. This time we won – drum roll – GOLD! Digital Plus entered the project into the awards – a fantastic collaboration – they brought our creative ideas to life with extensive professionalism! The artwork features over 120 birds, each one cutout out of a special lightweight aluminium composite and printed with aged metal textures allowing the shiny metal finish to show through as detailed feathers. Each bird was fixed to the wall with varying length fixings.

Close-up of the 'heart of birds'

OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE MEDWAY HOSPITAL ORGAN DONATION COMMEMORATIVE ARTWORK

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 http://bit.ly/28TLDJZ where the video of the BBC South East news report has now been added.

MEDWAY MARITIME HOSPITAL ORGAN DONOR COMMEMORATIVE ART ‘BIRDS OF THE ESTUARY’ IS NOW INSTALLED

15 June 2016

Karen in Medway Hospital atrium with Brent Goose The question is how to recreate our concept ideas and designs into an impressive three-dimensional artwork that fits onto a wall 15m high x 18.5m wide? Obviously impossible to achieve without plenty of pre-planning and co-ordination on the parts of ourselves, our production and installation team and of course everyone involved at the hospital!

Part of the hospitals’ main atrium was already cordoned off, as the main wall was re-painted in white to cover the previous red. The largest size scissor lift available for the space was pre-ordered to be in place ready and waiting for the start of installation. Our team had arrived the day before to be briefed on health and safety within the hospital. Inside their large van over 120 carefully wrapped birds lay waiting, ready to be set free!

Positioning birds on the heart templateFirst stage was to lay out the pre-printed template for the central heart of birds. All birds were specifically numbered – they just needed to be found and systematically positioned on their allocated outline on this template. When all were in place we marked the position of the drill holes for the stand off barrel mount fixings before the template was taken up in the scissor lift, and taped in place on the wall.

John and Phil begin installationIt’s quite amazing to see how a scissor lift works but I don’t think I would like to go up in one, especially not as high as our installers needed to go with this particular project! Fortunately John and Phil have loads of training and experience and were totally undaunted!

Heart shape begins to appear as birds are fixed in placeParts of the template were gradually cut away as the installation progressed. It was a long and painstaking process and the scissor lift needed to descend to pick up other batches of birds many times. It’s during these times, when the lift has descended, that we can view the gradual creation of our design – a very humbling yet exciting process, like watching a stop-frame animation film!

Close-up of the 'heart of birds'Of course we also analyse the gradual development by ascending to a higher floor in the hospital and viewing from above. I met many people while overseeing our developing project who made enquiries about the meaning of the artwork and in return give wonderful and appreciative feedback. Though, as soon as the wording ‘the Gift of Life’ was fitted most people understand the nature of the piece without need for enquiry!

Register to become an organ donor plaqueNext stage was to fit the undulating supplementary text and mount the plaque that succinctly explains the artwork and has specific details on how to register to become an organ donor.

Tony creating templates for a group of Brent GeeseAfter this all the other birds were installed, those that gather together in groups to fly towards the already complete birds forming the heart shape. We decided to create templates for these groups of birds rather than trying to visually piece together the installation from afar. This entailed a lot of kneeing down on a hard floor, taping together pieces of paper, drawing a grid on these pieces of paper, finding the relevant birds, placing in the right places by utilising the grid, then drawing around each one. (Wished I’d taken my kneepads!) Hard work, but once we got stuck in very enjoyable. Turns out that it saved a lot of time, and our original design and detailed plan was closely adhered to.

Scissor lift at its highest point!This image shows the scissor lift at its most extended whilst fitting Dunlin and Turnstone birds that soar towards the highest part of the wall, representing freedom and new life.

Dunlin, Turnstone and Avocet birds in flightA close-up showing various birds flocking together; flying towards those already congregating to form the heart shape.

Panorama of the completed artworkThis photo clearly depicts the sheer scale of the completed installation.

NEARLY ALL COMPLETE!

3 June 2016

Birds-galore!Here are a few more birds ready for installation.

Dunlin-in-Aged-BrassThis bird is a Dunlin produced in an Aged Brass finish.

Little-Tern-in-Aged-SteelAnd this delicate little bird is a Little Tern created in Aged Steel

BIRDS OF THE ESTUARY ARE GETTING READY FOR FLIGHT!

30 May 2016

Brent-Geese-in-Aged-Copper-and-Rusted-SteelWe visited our specialist print and installation partners, Digital Plus, the other day to check out the progress of our ‘Birds of the Estuary’ organ donor artwork. Everything looked pretty impressive! The installation will feature over 100 birds all uniquely cutout in a variety of metal finishes – a massive undertaking! This will easily be our largest organ donation project to date! Eight varieties of estuary birds have been chosen ranging in size from Swallows and Dunlin up to the largest, the Little Egret.

Cutout-Lettering-in-Aged-BrassAnd, as you can see from the above photo, the “Gift of Life’ lettering is also very big! Every element, apart from the supplementary wording, is to be fixed with varying sized stand off fixings to give an added sense of depth! The installation will start in just over a weeks time and take over two days to complete. We will post the name of the hospital, photos and lots of other information on our return.

Brent-Goose-in-Rusted-Steel

SAMPLES FOR LATEST ORGAN DONOR ARTWORK

18 April 2016

Cut-out Metal BirdsOur latest organ donor artwork has moved onto the next stage. We visited the hospital taking along many samples with birds created in two ways. Shown here is one style with feathers and outer shape laser cut from various metals including brass, copper, rusted corten and stainless steel.

printed metal effect birdsThe other style, as shown above, has been created with aged metal finishes.

Tony holds printed birdTaking along samples is of major importance when there will be over 100 birds fitted in this space! Significant choices had to be made: what style will view best from a distance, can the wall take the amount of fittings needed and what are the best fittings for this scale of project.

Paul picks up big birdThis photo shows the largest bird that will feature, which is an Egret, along with the consultant and principal leader of this project. Sorry, but I just have to quote what he said as this photo was being taken, which had us all laughing. “Paul picks up big bird!”