Artist: Ivy Smith
Location: Corridor outside Amesbury Ward, Level 4, Phase II building

Ivy’s 5ft long oil painting, installed in the Orthopaedics department on Level 4, shows bathers in a swimming pool. Ivy met with staff from the department including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nursing staff and they all expressed a preference for the painting to show physical activity – ‘what patients may aspire to when they are better’. Ivy chose to paint swimmers for the commission as swimming is an activity most people have experienced.

Ivy said, “The figures in my work are drawn from life and this gives an immediacy and sense of recognition. Swimming is a subject of great compositional potential. I feel the suggestion of weightlessness may be particularly welcome to people grounded by broken bones. The composition contrasts two energetic, splashing figures with the gracefulness and buoyancy of two swimmers reaching the edge of the pool. The figures form the main compositional structure of the work, but an important element of the image is the water, with its strong colour and its particularity as it flows over and around the figures.”

This commission was funded by Arts Council England, South West

Audio description of ‘Swimmers’ artwork

Salisbury embroidery

Artist: Mid-Wessex Branch of the Embroiderers Guild
Location: Outside Springs restaurant, Level 2 corridor, SDH North

The Salisbury City wall hanging was designed and worked by members of the Mid-Wessex Branch of the Embroiderers Guild between 1990-1992. It was originally created for the new hospital development reception area, but has since been relocated outside Springs restaurant in a purpose built protective case. Twenty-three members were involved in making the quilt and they met regularly at Manor House, Wilton over 18 months. Meg McConnell was Design Co-ordinator and Tutor. The names of other the participants and a description of the techniques are listed in this downloadable artwork guide.

Salisbury Embroidery – about the artwork (pdf)

Drawn into landscapes

Artist: David O’Connor
Location: Main corridor, Level 3, SDH North

Originally positioned in Springs Restaurant this set of 10 drawings by artist David O’Connor was commissioned in 1995. They were subsequently re-sited to the Level 3 main corridors to unify the artwork displayed on this floor and give the corridor area, on level 3, a unique identity.

‘Malborough Downs’, like many in the set of drawings, depict ancient stones in a modern Wiltshire landscape. The passage of time is a constant theme within these works and, in this picture, is shown through the sun’s arcing movement across the sky and the shadow being cast over the sundial. David says about the artwork, “The pictures are drawn from memory and imagination. I don’t rely on observation or photographs because I believe that a complex constructed view is closer to our experience of the environment we inhabit. Our viewpoint is distorted by many factors such as memory, experience, history, emotions, knowledge and culture.”

About the artist

David was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire in 1959, one of nine brothers. Educated in Sculpture and Installation Art at The Slade School of Art and Sunderland Polytechnic, he developed a strong interest in landscape art and walking from an early age on the Wirral Peninsula. After leaving college in 1982, he spent ten years as a furniture designer and maker. In 1992 he re-started work as an artist. His first major installation since 1992 was in 1997. He is currently working on installations and public sculpture. Alongside this he makes smaller sculptures predominantly stone, metal and wood, which can be purchased from the artist.

Noah’s calling

Artist: Marie Brett
Location: MRI dept, Level 3, SDH North

‘Noah’s Calling’, references the biblical story of Noah saving animals from the flood. In Marie’s picture animals process from right to left. This is against the blue-green backdrop, the hand-stitching create swirls that depict the rising waters. Birds, fish, deer and crocodile have been applied using meticulous stitches. The flow of the picture is helped with the inclusion of the gold coloured metal leaves top and bottom. Marie’s practice fuses both traditional craft skills with contemporary, often unusual materials. Bronze, stainless steel and textiles with copper and brass detailing often feature in her work. Another work, ‘Cheetah Rock’, by Marie can be seen displayed in the main waiting room of the MRI Department.

About the artist

Throughout her work, Marie references landscape. She makes bespoke, original artworks for both interior and exteriors. From private homes to large hospitals, chapels to housing developments, her works are in demand as they positively contribute to their setting. She says she welcomes a site specific approach and aims for her work to add to a space both aesthetically and holistically; for her work to contribute to how people both feel in and use the space. Marie also makes large steel sculptures, which feature in gardens and courtyards. Inspired by ancient standing stones, the works are subtle and marry history with cutting edge technology of laser cutting. Her interior works are tapestry like in nature and combine copper and brass detailing. Several hospitals, libraries and chapels have commissioned large pieces, although she also makes a range of smaller, intimate pieces for homes. Marie is a member of the Craft Council of Ireland.


Artist: Sally Haynes
Location: Main corridor, Level 3, SDH North

‘Fragile-X-scape’ is one of a series of digital and multimedia images created by Sally Haynes during an artist’s residency across three hospitals in 2002. With unprecedented access to behind the scenes at the Radiology Dept at Southampton General Hospital, Wessex Genetics Laboratory at Salisbury District Hospital and Pathology at St Mary’s Hospital in Newport, IOW, Sally explored the creative territory shared by art and science – Sciart.

With her artistic eye, Sally was free to concentrate on the rhythm and patterns of chromosomes and translated this genetic data into the three artworks for Salisbury entitled ‘Fragile-X-scape’, ‘CAG repeats’ and ‘Matching the pairs’. The completed pieces are displayed outside the Genetics Department entrance and combine photographic and microscopic images, manipulated through computer software with Sally’s own drawing and mark making. Sally’s work in Southampton General’s Radiology Department led to images likening various radiology processes to the structure of leaves and flowers. On the Isle of Wight Sally made two large compositions using the stunning colours found in samples from the Pathology Laboratory together with annotations highlighting the medical significance of the samples.

‘Fragile-X-scape’ is typical of the artist’s creative use of medical imagery, making it possible for viewers to relate to science in a different way. Layered images and adjusted scale bring the photograph of the fragile X chromosome to the forefront of our view, with the trace line of the drawing positioned like a ghostly reflection in a darkened window looking out on lights in the landscape beyond. The poetic and slightly melancholic atmosphere of the work reflects the sensitive nature of the subject matter addressed – the mental retardation caused by the fragile X chromosome and the tracking of affected families through genetic sequencing. Using the idea of landscape and mapping as a metaphor for both the physical surface of the gene represented and the connectedness of families, gives us an alternative perspective on the scientific processes involved in this tracking.

About the artist

Sally Haynes is a Newbury based artist exhibiting several times a year at her studio at New Greenham Arts in Newbury. With an extensive background in education Sally continues to teach in various settings. She graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1995. A member of Catalyst (a group of women artists and scientists working and exhibiting together) for several years, Sally continues to address and explore a fascination with Science and Art in her work.

Sally says, “The awareness of my own cyclical patterns of behaviours, coupled with an increasing interest in portraying subjects from a different viewpoint, has led to my working with particular shapes and scale change: bringing together worlds of symbolic visual language and pattern. I often use microscopic equipment, cameras and computers as drawing tools. My work is project based and drawing underlines everything I do.”

And the pony was gone

Artist: Pete Gilbert
Location: Vascular waiting room, Level 3, SDH North

In this painting Pete Gilbert has depicted a scene close to his New Forest home showing a wooded glade under a canopy of small trees. The technique of bold brush strokes and strong unmixed colour gives the impression of an English broad leaf copse rather than a larger pine forest. Pete has used strong yellows to show light falling through the leaves and this colour is echoed in the flowers in the undergrowth. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the middle of the painting with a darker foreground diagonal that leads to the blue light filtering through the central contrasting dark trunks.

Colour has been used to create a sense of depth with warmer orange tones in the top right (foreground) through to cool blues for the sky and distant trees. this is an artistic technique know as ‘atmospheric perspective’. this is when an artist seems to create depth in a 2 dimensional landscape painting. usually the foreground objects are bright and further aya objects are duller in colour. this is a response to natural phenomenon that can be seen by looking are real landscapes with distant spaces appearing paler and bluer.

The title ‘And the pony was gone’ is anecdotal as Pete explains that he set up his easel in the wood when he saw a New forest pony grazing.  After spending time creating the scene and capturing the light effects the subject matter (the pony!) had wandered away. This story reveals the sense of humour of the artist and makes the viewer imagine the pony in the picture.

About the artist

From leaving school in the 60s Pete always painted but he did not take the traditional route through art college. He had many career changes from advertising agencies to restaurateur and night club owner but he always found the time to keep painting, exploring and developing his own style. Pete says, “Now living in the New Forest my passion for painting the landscape has rekindled, rejuvenated and increased year on year. I tend to work out on site to capture the immediacy of the moment with pastels and watercolour and then using those sketches I either finish them back in the studio or use them as reference for larger canvases in oil or acrylic. Although working in the moment I try to capture more than a snapshot. I want to feel the landscape.”

Pete is also a volunteer for ArtCare and has helped deliver workshops and participatory workshops.

Medieval hunting scenes

Artist: Alfred Overton
Where to find: Level 2 main corridor, SDH North

Pictured is one of the mural panels, painted by Alfred Overton, which decorated the nurse’s dining room at Salisbury Infirmary. These artworks were transferred to Salisbury District Hospital in the 1990s and restored in 2002 with donations from the Salisbury Nurses’ League.

An article from the ‘Salisbury Journal’ of October 7 1949 described the new murals thus:

“One of the features of the renovation and redecoration of Salisbury Infirmary – and perhaps the most popular among the nursing staff – is the series of mural paintings in the spacious staff dining hall, which is now provided with the latest equipment. Six murals – two of which are 12 feet long and 8 feet high – represent the road between Old and New Sarum in the early 15th Century. They are the work of Mr Alfred Overton, the artist, of Exeter Street, Salisbury. Painted in oils, the murals lend an attractive air to the dining hall and were visualised as a form of decoration by the former Management Committee in 1947. On one side of the dining hall a mural shows Old Sarum in the background, with an early 15th-century wagon trundling along the road carrying passengers to New Sarum. Smaller panels on each side depict a labourer with a scythe and nobles practising archery.The journey is continued in the main panel on the other side of the hall, which shows a number of horsemen and people on foot making toward New Sarum across typical downland, with a village in the background. A minstrel plays a lute by the side of the highway. In another panel Mr Overton has painted a group of mounted knights looking down at New Sarum, with the cathedral in the background. The knights are emblazoned with the arms of Radnor, Pembroke and Feversham. The panel on the other side of the centre mural shows a hawking party of nobles and their ladies. With the arms of Queensberry included on the uniform of foot soldiers in the panel depicting Old Sarum, Mr Overton has provided a reminder of the history attached to the names of Radnor, Pembroke, Feversham and Queensberry given to wards in the Infirmary. In addition to the panels that are 12 feet long, two others are 8 feet long and the remaining two, 3 feet long. They are set against walls painted in shades of grey, cream and white. The newly decorated dining hall was reopened last week.”

Landscape forms

Artist: Chris Tipping
Location: Level 2, 3 & 4 corridors, Phase II building

Chris Tipping’s designs for the flooring and Formica panels are based on forms in the Wiltshire landscape; local history, industry, architecture and gardens; and on unseen and ephemeral elements in the landscape as viewed from the hospital.

Man-made circles at Avebury and Sarum, crop circles, dew ponds, Fovant Badges, ploughing and field patterns, Downton lace making, Salisbury Cathedral and local architectural detailing, formal gardens, celtic patterns, labyrinths and mazes, the geology of Wiltshire, microscopic investigations of chalk and limestone, local flora and fauna, and fleeting expressions in shadow play have all been represented in the flooring and Formica panels.

Chris commented, “Creating abstract images, which are both emblematic and suggestive of the Wiltshire landscape, the interventions animate and inform the floorscape of the hospital. I have used perspective and scale to represent the images in unfamiliar ways, exploring the relationship between the macro and micro of the surrounding site and landscape within which we all move.”

The flooring interventions have been positioned at major node points such as nurse stations, waiting areas and the window seating areas in the 4-bed bays. The patterns break up the vast flooring areas and help patients and visitors with orientation.

The different levels of the new hospital wing are colour coded to represent the surrounding landscape and make each level distinct from the next. On Levels 1 & 2 the colours used in the floor and on the walls are red, earthy tones representing chalk marls and ploughed and planted foreground; Level 3 uses shades of green reminiscent of farmland and forest, while on Level 4 the colours are blues and purples reflecting the visible skyline.

Audio description flooring

Audio description formica panels

Journey to work

Artist: Dominic Pote
Location: Speech Therapy, Laser Clinic & Medical Photography depts, Level 3, Phase II building

The theme ‘Journey to Work’ was chosen as a starting point for this commission because it was something common to all staff. Dominic worked with hospital staff who told him about their journeys, and in particular favourite views or landscapes, which they encountered on their way to work. Over a period of three months he returned to these specific locations and attempted to capture on film the essence of these landscapes as well as the notion of the journey. The six pieces represent not only different journeys into Salisbury, but also the main variations of the Wiltshire landscape: woodland, agricultural land, the plains and river scenes.

Dominic said, “Since movement is intrinsic to my work, the theme of the journey seemed very appropriate. I wanted to capture the feeling of passing through the landscape whilst also retaining some details, mimicking the way in which we experience travelling, perceiving colours and blurred forms whilst also picking out details form the flow of our journey. The bridge in ‘Little Durnford’ for example, is captured as if a glimpse through the trees, a frozen moment stolen form the flow of time. When a moment is seized by our memory it is prolonged and preserved as if removed from the flow of time. In the same way, I want my photographs to show both this flow of time and the static moments and thereby reinforce the notion of travelling through the landscape.”

Dominic’s panoramic images are generated using a custom-adapted film camera. He moves the camera gently through the landscape in a single extended shot. The landscape is recorded on film as the camera scrolls the horizon. He does not, however, use any manipulation in this process: everything is captured on film in one single exposure and on one piece of film.

The six photographs can be found on Level 3 of the new build. Accompanying the images in the Speech and Language Therapy department are short poems written by patients during workshops with poet-in-residence Rose Flint.

This commission was funded by Arts Council England, South West.

Audio description of Journey to work artworks

Healing hands

Artist: Karina Thompson
Location: Plastic Outpatients, Level 3, Phase II building

A series of textile artworks by Karina Thompson displayed in the Plastic Surgery Outpatients waiting areas explore the relationship between textile textures and the reconstructive surgery carried out by the department.

Karina explained, “I have tried to reflect the range of people’s hands that might be in the waiting room; patients with their hands in splints, people waiting for treatment, clinical and clerical staff, the elderly with arthritis and children with small, eager hands.”

The idea of a handprint – a sign for care and help as well as a sign of identity – provided the starting point for Karina’s large-scale piece. ‘Once I was in the area and talking to staff it became clear how many of the plastic surgery outpatients were having treatment on their hands and this reinforced the relevance of the hand as a motif. Most people were happy to have outlines of their hands taken and staff were particularly keen.’

Through discussion with staff in the Maxillo-Facial department Karina became interested in sources of pattern within the body, in particular those found on the enamel of teeth, and this provided the inspiration for the series of intimate textile pieces installed along the main corridor in the department. The textile works make a decorative reference to the underlying structure of our teeth. ‘I have deliberately abstracted the imagery so it is only with a little time and understanding that the true source of it is revealed; most people will see them first of all as pretty patterns.’

The commission arose out of an opportunity to work with fashion designers Georgina Von Etzdorf who supplied all the materials for the commission.

Audio description Healing hands artwork

Clarence Blackburn panels

Artist: Clarence Blackburn
Location: Endoscopy corridor, Level 3, SDH North

The four artworks by Clarence Blackburn (1914-1984) were donated to ArtCare in 2007 by a local art dealer. They are all oil on board and were some of the last completed by the artist in the early 1980s.

In ‘Mevagissey’, Blackburn depicts the bright mosaic-like houses on the hillside of this traditional Cornish fishing village, as an idyllic location. The scene, shown in vibrant paint, is shining in the bright sunlight that bursts in in the top right of the picture. Sailing ships below lead the viewer’s eye safely through the walls into the busy harbour bustling with pleasure craft and working boats. The quayside is active with fishermen and strolling tourists. Blackburn has painted the architecture and boats in minute detail which adds to the overall busy feel of the picture.

In ‘The Jetty’, Blackburn depicts a working fishing port showing fisherman offloading their catch and mending nets. ‘Headland, Cornwall’ shows sailing boats landing on a remote beach amongst rocky headlands in an unidentified peninsula. Blackburn captures the everyday working life of fisherman on the River Rother at Rye in the final painting entitled, ‘The Jetty and River Rother at Rye’.

Clarence Blackburn started his creative life as an apprentice at Ashworth & Bros, Stoke-on-Trent, who produced earthenware and china up until closure in 1969. Some of his early paintings were inspired by these locations and depict canal transport at the potteries. Clarence also studied at Burslem College of Art and took up painting and printmaking professionally in 1943. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Painters-Etchers and Engravers and Royal Society of British Artists. His works include large scale paintings (such as these on display), smaller watercolours and etching prints, many of which show detailed observation of architecture and water transport.

Slowly the daylight

Artist: Fran Donovan
Location: Medical Surgical Outpatients, Level 3, SDH North

The semi-abstract landscape ‘Slowly the daylight’ is depicted in cool blues and green tones with long visible brushstrokes. In ‘Passing Fancy I’ and ‘Passing Fancy II’, warmer tones of yellow, orange and pink layer with the blue in this atmospheric pair of abstract paintings.

Fran Donovan studied for a Fine Art Diploma at Southampton and Winchester School of Art and a Masters degree in Barcelona. Her work is in private collections in Britain, Spain, Italy, America and Australia and the public collections of Hampshire County Council and Salisbury District Hospital.