Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation commissions surface pattern designer to enhance new Kidney Renal Dialysis Unit  

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation commissions surface pattern designer to enhance new Kidney Renal Dialysis Unit   
July 29, 2020

Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation’s award-winning arts programme, Tonic Arts, has commissioned Ursula Bevan-Hunter from Little Axe Blockprints to undertake art and design enhancements for the new Satellite Kidney Renal Dialysis Unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

Part of the Foundation’s capital arts programme, the commission will provide a creative intervention in the new facility, enhancing the space with therapeutic art and design and improving the wellbeing of staff, patients, and visitors. The resulting surface pattern design will be transferred to privacy screening for glass partition walls, as well as vinyls for the windows, reception desks and waiting areas. The motifs produced may also later be used in coverings for furniture, cushions and curtains.

Susan Grant, Tonic Arts Programme Manager at Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation, said: “Improving patient and staff wellbeing is at the heart of what we do at Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and the Tonic Arts programme supports this vision through creatively enhancing the healthcare environment and surroundings.

“Patients attend regular dialysis sessions at the unit 3-4 times a week and staring at plain walls can be monotonous. By including art and design as part of the new facility, we can help provide a welcoming, restful environment which creates privacy, distraction and diversion while patients receive treatment.

“To undertake this project, we were looking for a professional artist who could deliver a design scheme which reflects the natural world and provides a calming focus which works alongside the varying levels of natural light during daytime and evening dialysis sessions. Ursula provided all this and more. Not only is she a creative and innovative surface pattern designer, she also comes with experience of participatory arts practice and collaboration with community groups. We look forward to seeing the final designs once she has completed her research and gathered ideas from the commissioning group of staff and patient representatives.”

Print-maker, illustrator and surface pattern designer, Ursula Bevan-Hunter said:

“I have been inspired and encouraged by the growth of initiatives within the healthcare sector that include the visual arts in new hospitals and treatment centres. For patients who are being treated within these environments the integration of the visual arts offers a reflective and stimulating experience that has the potential for wide ranging therapeutic benefits.

This commission presents an opportunity for me to produce large scale surface designs inspired by nature for the architectural spaces within the new Dialysis Unit.  I hope the artworks will offer an immersive experience and enhance the calm and healing environment that this new unit will provide. I am really enjoying working with the team on producing the designs for the new Satellite Renal Dialysis Unit and will look forward to seeing it installed.”