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Michael Craig-Martin in conversation

April 27, 2010 by Ellie

Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 6pm. No booking required.

Lecture Theatre 2, Academic Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

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Michael Craig-Martin will be in conversation with Michael Stanley, Director of Modern Art Oxford|, to talk about his major new wall painting for the atrium of the Children's Hospital and West Wing at the John Radcliffe Hospital. The wall painting, which extends over five storeys, will be one of the largest artworks Michael has executed in this country and has been paid for entirely through charitable donations made specifically for this purpose.

This giant painting, which was completed at the end of April 2010, is sited in the busy entrance to the West Wing and Children's Hospital and will be seen by tens of thousands of patients, visitors and staff each year. Due to the fact that the children's cancer ward looks on to the atrium, it will also transform the lives of children who often spend weeks restricted to isolation rooms while receiving treatment.

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Michael Craig-Martin said:

'My principle aim has been to transform the bleak view from the windows of the children's wards facing into the atrium. The great height of the wall opposite has made it possible to create an image of immense scale, a highly coloured interplay of objects and giant letters spelling KIDS. I hope it will create a sense of pleasure and wonderment and act as a stimulus to the imagination of all, but particularly for those children confined to the wards, the only place where it will be possible to see the painting properly, at eye level and head-on.'

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This major project has been funded entirely by private donation, spearheaded by a major donor for the Children's Hospital who initiated the project. For the past 20 years the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust (ORH) has been involved in commissioning artists, purchasing artwork and programming arts activity across its three hospital sites to create a positive and uplifting environment for its staff, patients and visitors. Its aims, amongst several, are to create a welcoming and relaxing environment for patients and visitors that reflects the Trust’s patient-centred care; to build public understanding and awareness of medical science research through arts/science collaborations and to distract and engage patients and visitors to reduce stress and anxiety and provide motivation for patients to get up and about after treatment.

Recent arts projects taken on by ORH include an award-winning arts programme for the new Oxford Cancer Centre consisting of 6 major commissions integrated into the architecture of the new building, over 250 works of arts for corridors and patient rooms, and specially commissioned artworks and furniture for terraces and gardens as well as the hanging of original paintings, photographs and prints for all single rooms in the West Wing by artists living and working in Oxfordshire, chosen through open selection. For more information on their work or to get involved, email Ruth Charity.

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