There is increasing evidence that a welcoming and interesting atmosphere in a hospital improves patient well-being and staff morale, even speeding up recovery, as thought by some. The planners had this in mind while building a new University College Hospital that opened in London this June.
Art was their weapon of choice and one of the most important pieces that has been installed near the entrance is the work Monolith and Shadow by artist John Aiken.
Here is a brief description of this two-component installation from University College Hospital web site:
The monolith is made from recently discovered Brazilian granite – a rich and exotic stone that combines many colors, shapes and patterns. The decorative elements represent minerals ranging from granite, flint and quartz to precious and semi-precious stones and are embedded in a green sand base. The stone is the product of a prehistoric pebble beach that fused under intense heat and pressure millions of years ago.
The monolith will take the form of a monumental stone ( 90 cm x 2.7m x 1.8m) polished to a mirror-like surface to reveal the exotic composition of the granite. Symbolically, the monument could represent the history and development of the Hospital Trust and its diverse parts fused into a cohesive whole. It is to be placed in a prominent position to the right of the main hospital entrance on Euston Road.
The monolith’s ‘shadow’ will be cast across the steps of the entrance as an area of black granite slabs set into the paving. These slabs will be inscribed with the name of the hospital, the history of its various components and past and current benefactors. Large areas of inscribed text are a classic feature of both western and eastern architecture.
Read more about art at UCL hospital…