Prestigious Dementia Friendly Art Created At Forth Valley Royal Hospital

The thoughts of people in Central Scotland who are living with dementia have helped formulate two digital artworks at Forth Valley Royal Hospital – one based on clouds , the other reflecting land through which dreams flow.

The £15,000  project , a commission for an older artist, was secured by Artlink Central through the Baring Foundation’s Arts and Older People programme and  has been created by Fife-based digital artist Elizabeth Ogilvie who worked with film-maker Rob Page.

Elizabeth Ogilvie is one of the most significant artists of her generation in Scotland with a compelling vision and strong track record in realizing projects of scale and critical public engagement. Her decision to create a cloudscape in the atrium and a gentle landscape for a dementia ward was helped with support from a local artist living with dementia and latterly engaged with Alzheimers Scotland ‘Brain Gym’ in Camelon where a group pf of people affected by the disease talked about landscapes that were important to them as well as offering advice on camera shots and movements to provide dementia accessible advice.

 The work was supported by Serco who installed the final projections.

 Cloudgate, the public exhibition in the atrium takes the form of a projected moving image on to a voile theatre screen which will then cast further back onto a second screen.

 According to Elizabeth Ogilvie:

“The initial thinking for the installation in this location was inspired by my first visit to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital site with its enormous skies. And through research, experimentation and development of the concept, the final work here is a more conceptual notion of the whole water cycle: ice crystals/snow clouds rain mist and distribution as raindrops splash into a river and then the whole cycle starts again – a life cycle, a continuum.

 Cloud Gate provides a meditative and quiet moment for hospital patients visitors and staff and also hopefully, an affirming one.”                                                          

The ward based work projects three digital screens to create a triptych of slow moving landscape images that are like paintings. They play out slowly and feature someone walking across the scenes providing a connection between each work. The films operate on a loop and feature birdsong.

Director of Artlink Central, Kevin Harrison added:

 “Creating a meaningful and appropriate dementia friendly digital arts commission in a Later Style context has offered us a rich opportunity to create something very beautiful for public, staff and patients that has and will strengthen our practice in commissioning art in hospitals and which has provided a rich case study for benefits and challenges of socially engaged commissioning in a modern healthcare context. We want to thank Elizabeth Ogilvie, her collaborators such as MCL, and partners such as Serco and the Barings Foundation for supporting our learning process and wonderful new art works.”

Jonathan Procter, NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Facilities and Infrastructure, said:

 “This new digital commission highlights our ongoing commitment to creative projects, design and innovation across NHS Forth Valley. Forth Valley Royal Hospital is an ideal public space to showcase new work as it has around 10,000 people working or visiting every day and helps enhance the experience of patients in many different ways, however long or short their stay. We are also delighted that this commission by a renowned artist supports the inclusion of people affected by dementia as well as creating a striking talking point and space for contemplation.”

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