7 September 2015

sandwell-sunflower-6Judith Martin, Specialist Nurse Organ Donation, pictured here with Clinical Lead Organ Donation John Bleasdale, just sent us this feedback concerning the project we recently completed for the Sandwell General Hospital in Birmingham, following her trip to the Organ Donation Conference in America.

“The Organ Donation committee at SWBH were privileged to be able to work with Tony and Karen at Hospital Art Studio in the design and installation of the sunflower memorial. The brief was “brief” but they managed to fulfill it and more. I couldn’t have imagined such a small area being filled with such a striking piece of artwork. Its position was not our original choice but actually turned out to be better as it now fills a wall that faces staff and public as they walk the entire length of a long hospital corridor. Before it was white, well, magnolia and boring. Now what faces those on that corridor is a beautiful piece of work with a very simple but poignant message “The Gift of Life” and a much subtler message within that that encourages each and everyone who reads it to consider registering to become an organ donor. I have received such lovely feedback about the memorial and it certainly promotes discussion. I look forward to the possibility of being able to expand this piece of artwork and create an even bigger more beautiful memorial expanded from this original design when we move to our new hospital.”

Thank you very much Jude.


11 March 2015

Since our first Organ Donation ‘Memorial’ for the Royal Berkshire Hospital and subsequently for the Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital and the Wrexham Maelor Hospital both in North Wales, we have had many enquiries to complete projects along a similar vein. I think this is primarily because we had deconstructed the initial brief, turning our clients’ initial directives, that might have resulted in designs for a simple commemoration plaque, into artworks that are inspiring, large scale and beautiful to view.

At the moment we are working on three projects, with a few more still at the initial enquiry stage. This month I have chosen to depict one that is in its final stage, almost ready to go to print. The concept for this project involves the depiction of a large sunflower, those splendid flower heads that infer happiness and resemble the sun – giver of all life, along with its seeds to convey how,

“Seed dispersal is nature’s way of creating and continuing life.”

Gift of Life Sunflower - artist depiction of acrylic layersWhat makes every project so enjoyable to complete is that every one is unique and brings its own restrictions and demands. This particular brief required a design for a piece of art that would be not only eye-catching in its space but also be able to be moved and expanded into a new, brighter and bigger environment in a few years time.

By utilising natural shadows to give a real feeling of depth, the artwork is created on two circular discs of clear acrylic, held apart with stand off wall fixings. The darker sunflower petals and sunflower seeds are reverse printed onto the lower acrylic disc fixed just off the wall, while the brighter sunflower petals and wording are on the upper disc. Sunflower seeds tumble away from this flower, dispersing across the wall, inferring the creation of new life.

Gift of Life Sunflower with seedsIn its new space these seeds will be created from molded ceramics, but for now they will be printed onto self-adhesive vinyl. The sunflower can be simply moved to its new wall space – or we may even create a larger three-dimensional version using treated metals.

We look forward to seeing this artwork completed and installed and will post more details, including where it is situated, when this has been accomplished!

International FESPA Award for ‘Berkshire Butterflies’ Organ Donor Art

11 June 2014

Gift of life ArtworkInternational FESPA Award for ‘Berkshire Butterflies’ Organ Donor Art

We are very proud and delighted that our Organ Donation Artwork for the Royal Berkshire Hospital has won Bronze in the worldwide FESPA Awards held in Munich.

Taking home Bronze in the Interior Decoration category, the artwork is created almost entirely of butterflies gathering together to form a heart shape representing ‘The Gift of Life’.

This award, entered by our partners Digital Plus, who printed and installed the project, is greatly deserved for their attention to detail and superb quality workmanship.


25 October 2013

Gift of Life Award

Our printers and installers, Digital Plus, have been awarded one of the highest accolades in the printing industry. The criteria the judges were looking for was quality, innovation, technical capacity, customer service and creativity. The judges felt that “The Gift of Life’ was a ‘stand-out winner. It was felt that the entry consisted of a fantastic installation, impressively large scale, and a great use of digital print brings it to life.’ We are extremely proud that this project has received critical acclaim.


The printers, who had personally won the award, presented us with the award pictured and a bottle of champagne and another award that we are sending to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.


16 November 2012

Wow! Since the Organ Donation artwork has been installed it’s been a roller coaster of news reports and amazing reviews!

On Wednesday 14 November transplant patients were invited into the Royal Berkshire Hospital to meet the media at a press launch for the project. On that day it featured on the BBC Local News (Oxford) during breakfast, lunch and evening broadcasts!

Click on the link below to view our edited version of the BBC News coverage on Vimeo

It was also included in their local newspaper and achieved international fame when it featured on the Organ & Tissue Donation Blog based in California!

Feedback has included:

“Spanning a wall, the eye-catching butterflies come alive with a striking 3D effect, which also promotes a powerful message to the people who have given ‘the gift of life’ and will hopefully inspire others to become donors.”

Before his double lung transplant two years ago, Tilehurst man Richard Burbedge could not walk without being linked to an oxygen supply. About the ‘sculpture’ he said: “It provokes thought about organ donation, but is also a sign of being reborn. The enormity of the piece really helps to get the message across. Organ donation has transformed my life beyond recognition. It’s the greatest gift that you can give. And if you’ve never talked about it, please do, as you could be someone’s hero as my donor is to me. It’s an incredible gift.”


7 November 2012

Early this Saturday we travelled 200+ miles to oversee the installation of our latest project. It’s been a long time waiting for the final go-ahead, but as you can see from the photos, all totally worth it!

We visited our specialist printers earlier in the week; to double-check all was proceeding to plan. At first the cut-out butterflies were to be printed onto 3mm rigid PVC, but due to strict fire regulations at the hospital a new material had to be researched. In fact, we prefer the black edge on the aluminium Dibond that was finally used. Thanks to all at Digital Plus in Leeds for completing their labour intensive and exceptional commission.

When we arrived at the Royal Berkshire Hospital the installation team had already wheeled the scissor lift into place. They worked calmly and professionally throughout the day, starting with applying the flat butterflies directly to the freshly repainted wall, then drilling and fixing the three-dimensional butterflies. All under our guidance and perfectly in place! I always feel very nervous while watching our latest piece of art being applied to the wall, but I had no need to worry. So a big thank you also goes to Chris and John who were extremely proficient and did an excellent job.

Though the installation was completed on a Saturday, when the hospital is less busy, there were still plenty of people passing through. Gauging their reactions was a feast for my senses; all were amazed and delighted with their hospital’s new piece of art. Being near a couple that stood for a moment reading the message; I overheard their conversation. The husband asked, “Do we have Organ Donor Cards?” To which his wife replied, “I think so, but I’ll check when we get home!” So not only is the beauty of the artwork appreciated, but it is also succeeding in its goal – encouraging people to register as organ donors!

After viewing the project on my computer for some months it is always reassuring that when installed it appears just how I had envisaged. The three dimensional butterflies, fixed with spacers 25mm off the wall, are larger at the edges of the artwork reinforcing the feel that they are flying in towards the heart shape, gathering together to form and aid in the ‘gift of life’!

We always pay a great deal of attention to detail and butterflies indigenous to the locality of the hospital were chosen, especially specific butterflies whose colours would work harmoniously in their surroundings.