Butterfly Rainbow

In May 2020, Damien Hirst created Butterfly Rainbow to show support for the NHS in the Coronavirus crisis. The work is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of the artist’s best-known motifs. A limited edition of the work was produced with all profits donated to NHS Charities Together, raising a total of £1,508,172.

Young Historians Project

A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service

The mural showcases four African women who have connections to the South-West of England, and worked within Britain’s healthcare service – Princess Tsehai Selassie, Bijou Bidwell a.k.a. ‘Aunty Bijou, Hannah Jawara (nee Mahoney) and Olugbemisola Kolade.

It was commissioned and donated by Young Historians Project – a non-profit organisation formed by young people of African and Caribbean descent, working to encourage other young people to engage with Black British history and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Bristol based artist, Michele Curtis painted this mural with assistance from consultant artist Nadia Lloyd. Michele is the artist and architect behind the Seven Saints of St. Paul’s creative and digital place making project, and the Iconic Black Britons initiative developed to celebrate Black British history through art.

The Gift of Life

This artwork is dedicated to all of our local donors and their families.

Our ‘tree of life’ represents some of the feelings families have by agreeing to organ donation and reflecting how the receiving patients and families feel. This tree reflects new beginnings and the gift of life.

Kate Rattray is a local artist who makes bold and dynamic glass and ceramic mosaic art works since 1996.  Inspired by nature and myth her works are both narrative and decorative.                          

She makes pieces in both 2 and 3 dimensions for indoor and outdoor spaces, for exhibitions, galleries and private and public spaces.

Kate also teaches mosaic workshops in her studio in Wells. She is a professional member of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen and the British Association for Modern Mosaic.

Rite of Spring

Sebastian Smith has kindly donated his striking 24ft wide painting, Rite of Spring, to the Royal United Hospital collection for permanent display. The painting was completed in six hours in front of an audience to the music of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring masterpiece, for an exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, in February 2011.

The result is a calming yet energetic artwork, well suited to a hospital environment.

Three Views of Wiltshire

Anna Simmons has painted Three Views of Wiltshire including: Roundway Hill near Devizes, Martinsell Hill near Calne and Woodborough Hill near Woodborough.

This is a long term loan from Dr Carol Peden; she bought all three paintings for the RUH collection in memory of her husband Robin Smith, who was Consultant Surgeon at the RUH for 20 years.

Archive: Journey

We are very sorry to say goodbye (for now) to ‘Journey’, the aerial sculpture by Edwina Bridgeman. ‘Journey’ was the very first artwork to be commissioned by Art at the Heart of the RUH 19 years ago and celebrated the opening of Central RUH, including the Atrium. 

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It has been removed in order to make safety repairs to the glazed roof and cannot be re-installed as an aerial piece but we will look to find an alternative method of installation which may entail a new location in order to meet fire safety requirements along with easier access for cleaning or maintenance. It has been carefully lowered and removed, and packed for storage. 

Providing entertainment, as well as being uplifting, we hope that this piece has been a symbol of hope for visitors, patients and staff, on their own personal journeys.