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Stunning New Art Collection brings Flowers Back into Hospitals

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

As part of the launch of the new South Glasgow University Hospitals (SGUH) and Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC), NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is hosting a special art exhibition tonight which will celebrate the remarkable art work which will be on display throughout the hospital when it opens later this month. 

Responding to the fact that real flowers are no longer allowed in hospitals, this collection comprises 100 artworks celebrating the beauty, meaning and histories of flowers and in hospital, and the links between environment, health and wellbeing. 

Art plays a major role in the new hospital with the 100 flowers project part of the Working Well: People and Places Strategy within the new Southern General Hospitals development. 

The exhibition located in the main atrium of in the adult hospital will be lined with pictures and photographs of flowers from the new art collection.   There are pink hyacinths, lilies and tulips in a vase. Foxgloves stems bend, festooned with bell-shaped blooms, a Venus flytrap waits with open jaws.  

The captivating pictures within the collection, are located in waiting areas, family rooms and corridors and are part of the Working Well Strategy which ensured that a focus on the design and healthy environment within the hospital has been maintained throughout the building process.  

Other art projects include the way finding project which has distinctive art works located in key areas of the hospital which will help guide patients and visitors to their destination.  Distinctive photography will enable each adult ward level to be defined moving from sea level to the Scottish mountains on the 11th floor. Within the children’s hospital large murals stimulate the imagination of young and old alike with native animals, humorous characters and roads and railway journeys adorning the corridor walls.  Another key project involving pictures is in the child and adolescent psychiatry ward where pictures of a cat will be introduced to children to help them identify their emotions. 

Jackie Sands, strategic arts and health co-ordinator for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, explains:  “Flowers are no longer allowed in most ward areas due to infection control measures, the strategy, which is responsible for all the artwork in the two new hospitals, wanted to “to bring flowers back into hospital” and so the 100 flowers arts initiative began. 

“An international call for artists was issued to create a collection of 100 flowers for the walls.  We also asked local community groups, our staff and patients to produce images we could use throughout the hospitals to give patients and visitors a sense of wellbeing and connection with the outside world within the hospital. 

“We were delighted with the response and the 100 flowers collection includes a range of work from artists, both amateurs and professionals, as well local people and community groups who took the time and effort to produce both images and photos.” 

Tonight’s event is an opportunity for those who have contributed to see the range of images available throughout the hospital and a chance for Andrew Robertson, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to thank everyone involved. 

Andrew said:  ““I am delighted to be hosting this special event to thank everyone involved in the art projects for the two new hospitals. 

“I have been amazed by the images that have been produced and how it has been incorporated throughout the hospital. 

“Not only does the wonderful artwork on display help people find their way around the hospital but art have been provide to provide patients with a sense of health and wellbeing.” 


Notes for Editors

A range of professional and amateur artists, as well several community organisations across the city, were involved in creating the selected art works, making the collection uniquely democratic and engaging. 

Graham Fagen – who represents Scotland at international visual arts event, the Venice Biennale in May – was one of the selected professional artists asked to submit ten works; along with Alec Finlay and Hannah Tuulikki - fresh from her Culture 2014 commission for the Commonwealth Games cultural programme , inspired by the relationship between nature and Gaelic song; and Glasgow based artist James Winnett who responded to the pattern and design of lace manufacturing specific to central Scotland. 

Ten works were purchased from Glasgow and Edinburgh Print Studios including previous Turner Prize nominee Christine Borland and renowned artist Elizabeth Blackadder; whilst an open international call to artists resulted in thirty more selected works.

Then, three community based organisations – Art in Hospital, Plantation Productions and Gorbals Youth Café worked with patients, the Govan community local to the hospital and a group of young people respectively, ensuring the project reflected a diversity of ages and experiences across the city. 

All of the artists responded to different themes - wild flowers growing around the hospital; herbs referencing early medical research and the ongoing uses of flowering plants in medicine; non-native, stowaway species carried to Scotland in ship’s ballast, subsequently taking root along the banks of the Clyde; and emblematic flowers embodying and exploring cultural identity. 

The 100 Flowers exhibition launch is part of the Lateral Thinking conference taking place at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, on April 9th, exploring the sustainability and impact of arts and creative programmes in healthcare settings. 

For more information on the 100 Flowers Collection or the Lateral Thinking conference please contact: 

Jackie Sands Strategic Arts and Health Coordinator NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, [email protected] or

Clare Phillips  Curatorial Project Manager 100 Flowers – Gingko Projects Ltd [email protected] or

Lorraine Wilson - Senior Arts Officer Glasgow Life, [email protected]

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021