Having completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and a Master’s Degree in Architectural Glass, I started my own business in 2005 to concentrate on public art commissions. I quickly moved from a studio based practice to a design based practice (engaging fabricators and installers) to allow me to work across multiple materials on any scale. For the first 5 years, my clients were fairly varied, ranging from civicbuildings to churches, schools and hospitals. The next 5 years represented a shift in my client base towardspredominantly healthcare,and now,approximately 90% of my work is for the NHS and private healthcare facilities. As I gained experience working within the healthcare field, and my work won accolades and gained favourable attention, I have been approached by a number of NHS Trusts to create similar schemes for them.
1What is your background as an artist? How did you get involved with art in healthcare?
2Who do you work with?
I will work with any client and enjoy working with a whole team –clients, their architects, interior designers, contractors and end users, so that the art and architecture is in harmony and the end users of the space feel a sense of ownership. I have considerable experience of working within mental health, dementia and end of life environments. Facilities like these require a particular degree of sensitivity and an awareness of the evidence-based design research that has been undertaken for service user groups in such settings.
3What type of art do you do?
The type of art I produce is characterised by the use of hand-drawn graphics, innovative materials and selective use of colour. Working with the client, I carefully choose my medium(whether it be wallcovering, silkscreen printed glass, cladding, engraved timber, laser cut steel, or signage)at the start of the design process, to ensure that the artwork/s will be suitable for the location. For example, we need to bear in mind ease of cleaning, durability and safety (including fire safety). I am passionate about integrating high quality art into the fabric of health care buildings, as research clearly proves that art can reduce anxiety, stress and even pain in health care environments through its role as a positive distraction. In particular, artwork which depicts elements of nature has been shown to elicit positive feelings. I try to provide artwork that is accessible to all: positive; calming; uplifting; non-threatening and non-challenging.
4What does a typical commission process look like?
You may already have secured a budget for artwork or you may wish to approach me first for a quotation before looking into funding options. Once a budget has been agreed and the commission is underway, I will meet with the project team to discuss the detail of the project, which might include looking at the building plans, technical details, materials, and the interior finishes and colour scheme. If possible, I will take measurements of potentialartwork locations, although in some cases this will not be possible e.g. an unbuilt scheme. I will then produce and present initial concept designs for the client team to review based on the themes that have emerged from our discussions as well as research that I have undertaken. Consultation with the client team will continue throughout your project and will often involve service staff and end users to ensure that a variety of viewpoints are considered. I enjoy a two-way process and take feedback seriously, making amendments to the designs where necessary. Once the client team is happy with the developed concepts and the designs are agreed, I can move on to the next stage - the detailed design stage. This will include ensuring that the design is fabrication-ready. Once I have confirmation from the client regarding final designs, dimensions, material specification and installation timescales, I can proceed to fabrication. I work with a variety of fabricators throughout the UK, enabling me to use a range of materials. Delivery and installation can either be arranged by me or by the client – this is usually agreed at the start of the project.
5How much does it cost?
Until I am able to assess your project requirements, it is difficult to give an approximate figure. However, if you get in touch with me early in the project schedule, I am happy to discuss the options available to you. I am experienced in working within a range of project budgets from £2,000 to £250,000, from providing just 1 artwork to providing over 100 individual artworks for one scheme. The eventual cost will be determined by the complexity of the designwork required (my fee), the amount of consultation, the number of artworks, the size of the artworks, the materials/techniques required, the location, and the installation. I am registered for VAT. Ultimately, as a general rule of thumb, setting aside 0.5% to 1% of a project budget for art is good practice and you will be amazed at the impact such artwork can have on the overall scheme, hugely enhancing the wellbeing of staff and users, attracting positive attention from other organisations, and often turning a good project into an award winning project!
Feel free to get in touch and have a chat. Don’t worry if you haven’t secured a budget or even if the idea is only in its infancy and you have no guarantee as to whether the project will actually happen or not. Everything has to start somewhere and I am happy to share my experience with you!