Science inspires hospital art

As well as co-ordinating monthly exhibitions, ArtCare looks after the art that is on permanent display at Salisbury District Hospital. These artworks can help with finding your way around, add colour to the clinical environment and provide an interesting focus for patients, visitors and staff alike. They can also provide an insight into the science behind the medicine and treatment provided by the hospital.

One such example are the textiles in the Pathology waiting room made by Sarum Quilters. These use symbols that depict various aspects of genetics (chromosomes and DNA) and pathology (viruses and blood cells).

In science images are an important tool to illustrate complex information, they can tell a story of changes over time, as well as describe what you can see when viewing a sample through a microscope. Many people will be familiar with a patchwork quilt made from different scraps of fabric at home. These artworks deliberately contrast this domestic familiar feeling with creative use of clinical images to help viewers relate to science in a different way.

A leaflet guide is available in the waiting room that explains each of the different elements used in the textiles.

Did you know?

A chromosome is a single piece of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA contains the genetic instructions used in development and function of all known living organisms.

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair, so children get half of their chromosomes from their mothers and half from their fathers. Chromosomes are packages of genes found in every cell in the body. There are 2 types of chromosome that determine the genetic sex of a baby. These are named either X or Y. A female baby has 2 X chromosomes and a male has 1 X and 1 Y.



These science inspired posts are part of our special February 2021 ‘Take the Time’ publication made possible by a grant from The British Science Association for Science Week 2021.


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Read More

Find out more about the textiles in the Pathology department

Take a look at another science inspired artwork in the hospital based on chromosomes

Download ‘Take the Time’ Issue 6 (pdf)

Send us your contribution

We love to include some of your own reflections in future posts and in our monthly print edition ‘Elevate your mood’ or quarterly printed tabloid ‘Take the time’. Why not write a few lines, try a poem or send us picture on the general theme of spring? Email to ArtCare or send to ArtCare, Block 29, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ.