Ysbyty Cwm Cynon - internal commissions

Ysbyty Cwm Cynon - internal commissions


In October 2010 Celfwaith was appointed by Cwm Taf Health Trust to produce a commissioning plan and to implement public art commissions for the new Ysbyty Cwm Cynon. Building work was underway and we liaised swiftly with the architect to identify potential locations for artworks. Some changes and modifications were possible to the building plan to integrate public art into the fabric of the building and external courtyards. A broad theme of 'bringing the outside in' had been suggested by HLM Architects which we were happy to pursue given the beautiful landscape surrounding the building and the fact that the hospital's footprint echoed the curve of the nearby river Cynon. The building was designed to harness the use of natural daylight with a particular sensitivity to the surrounding landscape, therefore texture, material and the play of natural light were also key considerations when forming the artists' briefs.

Five commissions were identified and implemented, three inside the building and two within external courtyards.

Atrium Wall relief sculpture
Kathy Dalwood was appointed to create a large scale relief mural in the atrium space, framed by a slate clad wall. She consulted with staff from the Aberdare and Mountain Ash hospitals (which would merge to become the new hospital) and researched the area's history. The 15 metre long inverted relief is a playful and intriguing mix of imagery made by direct casting from real life objects and materials.

The motifs relate to:
- architecture - terraced houses, chapels, pubs, bridges on the river Cynon
- music + jazz bands - musical instruments and details from the band costumes
- mining - pit ponies and breathing apparatus
- interior architectural details from the old hospitals
- the cenotaphs in both villages
- ledgers in the old hospitals which recorded donations from patrons and miners towards the running of the hospitals before the National Health Service was established
- medical equipment - various types of scissors, saws and pliers

The work is lit by both natural light from roof windows directly above the work and artificial light placed to create a wash of light over the work.
Kathy also supplied silhouette versions of some of the motifs to be etched onto the glass panels of the staircase and balcony as manifestations.
For more images see http://www.kathydalwood.com/cynon%20valley%20sculpture.htm

Corridor Wall Woven textile and glass panels
Along the corridor overlooking the main public courtyard are located the Children's ward, Day care unit and Therapy services. Throughout the hospital there is a way-finding system of coloured stripes along the walls, whereby a ward is allocated a colour and you can follow that colour stripe from the beginning of a corridor until you reach the ward. Although this system made it more difficult to integrate artwork on the walls, it was possible to do so as long as the artworks worked with those colours.

Laura Thomas was commissioned to create a series of nine wall panels. They are loosely woven coloured threads suspended and fixed between two panes of glass. Vivid cotton, silk and linen threads which gradate in colour over the nine panels, were laminated in toughened, low iron glass. Each panel measures 85x85cm and Laura worked with Innovative Glass Products to make the panels.

Laura also ran a series of workshops at three primary schools taking small mobile looms with her and teaching the pupils how to weave. She brought with her a variety of colours and textiles and showed the pupils samples of her own work to inspire them.

For more images see http://laurathomaswoventextiles.blogspot.co.uk/

Restaurant Artwork
Pascal Dubois was commissioned to create an artwork for the wall leading to the cafe and restaurant. Inspired by the local landscape he took numerous photographs of trees from a low viewpoint and digitally stitched them together to create 'Llwybr'. The composition gives a sense of looking up from a pathway through the trees, and the meandering shape of the river (on which the building design is based).

The triptych panels are high quality digital prints printed onto diasec, a lightweight aluminium panel with a tough scratch resistant lacquer finish.