Blaydon Leisure & Primary Care Centre
During the development of the Blaydon Leisure and Primary Care Trust a number of artworks were commissioned to enhance and enrich the building. A short listing process to identify artists took place in January 2010 and artists were selected to develop artworks which responded to the architecture of the building and made reference to the health and leisure aspects of the facility.
The artworks were jointly funded by NHS South of Tyne and Wear and Gateshead Council. The selection process and management of the art commission was jointly managed by Gateshead Council and lead officers from NHS South of Tyne & Wear.
70%H20: Joseph Hillier
70%H20 is a freestanding figure, a sculpture which links both to the health and leisure aspects of the Blaydon Leisure and Primary Care Centre. The sculpture is made from the material Jesmonite, and 'hollows' made of platinium leaf to represent bubbles. When making the sculpture the artist had thoughts of jumping into water, night swimming and the fact that our bodies are largely made up of water. The sculpture links to both the activity of swimming and with the healthcare facility of the building, with the focus being on wellbeing and caring for the human body. Additionally, the figure form attracts you to it, creating a significant interest for the entrance into the building, something that you can go up to and look at or touch. It has a real human presence.
More about the artist: Joseph Hillier
Seratonin Plus: Natalie Bell
Seratonin Plus is one of a series of abstract paintings by Natalie Bell which enhance the spaces within the Blaydon Primary Care Centre.
Spectrum: Gavin Marshall
Gavin created glass shapes on the main atrium wall which uses colour and form to enhance the building thus creating a feeling of elation and excitement on entering the space. Gavin, who is an architectural glass artist, chose the whole colour spectrum as inspiration for this piece. The wall is covered in 450 pieces of individually made coloured glass. "I chose the colour spectrum as inspiration for this piece as I had such a large white canvas to work on and making it up of 450 pieces of glass I hoped it would look quite spectacular."
Gavin was keen to get inspiration from local people during the development of his work. He carried out colour workshops at Blaydon Library and Emmanuel College in Gateshead to help gain an understanding of people's reactions to certain colour schemes used for this piece. Pupils from Emmanuel College in Gateshead were asked to create mosaics of colour from small pieces of coloured paper to reflect a word of their choice.
Time (waiting area): Gavin Marshall
In addition to the glass work created for the main atrium wall Gavin created further glass works for the Waiting Area. The Oval shapes represent an ancient past. They can be interpreted as facing outward or inward, moving apart or coming together. Coloured and diachroic strips of glass have fused to the clear glass while melting and shaping in the kiln and steel rods were cut at pre-determined heights and powder coated white to blend with the background.
Staiths: Jim Edwards
A series of paintings by local artist, Jim Edwards, are hung within the Blaydon Primary Care Centre. A large painting showing aspects of the West of Gateshead, including Duston Staiths, Scotswood Bridge and the River was painted especially for the waiting area.
Photo credits: Joseph Hillier & Louise Mackenzie