Art for well-being

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Hull’s rich heritage has provided the inspiration for a series of artworks to be installed in care homes creating a sense of place for residents with dementia.

In partnership with Hull City Council and Wates Living Space Homes, Riverside, one of the UK’s leading social housing and regeneration organisations, has commissioned a team of artists to develop public art across the three of their sites in Hull – Harrison Park, Cecil Gardens and Redwood Glades.

As well as reflecting the culture and history of the area, the artworks will create a sense of place for the residents, who will include people with dementia and other care and support needs.

Each of the pieces of artwork will be designed to achieve the University of Stirling’s Dementia Gold Standard, awarded by its acclaimed Dementia Services Development Centre.

“As an organisation which has delivered care and support services in Hull for over 25 years, we recognise the benefits of public art on health and well-being,” says Riverside’s senior project Manager Dominic Beha. “The aim of the art is not only to stimulate memories and emotions but also create distinctive environments which will contribute to effective orientation.”

Councillor John Black, portfolio holder for council infrastructure with responsibility for housing, agrees: “We want the art to provide a lasting cultural legacy so it’s really important that the designs reflect local context, stories and characters. We’ve been really impressed with how the artists have interpreted the brief.”

The residents had the opportunity to give their own views on the artists’ ideas and they too were impressed. “When we took the art proposals out to the community during our recent series of engagement events, the feedback from the residents was that they were impressed with the way the artists have delved into Hull’s rich history to come up with their creative concepts,” says Beha.

Angus Ross has based the design of reception desks in the three sites on the city’s connection to the shipping industry. The concept of the summer house he has designed for Harrison Park reflects the area’s agricultural land use with references to Hull’s public transport, past and present.

Christopher Tipping, whose restaurant curtain wall glazing for Harrison Park is influenced by the medieval field patterns of Hull.

Jyll Bradley was inspired by The Garden written by Hull poet Andrew Marvell for her proposed Green/Shade contemplative garden at Redwood Glades. She envisions the garden as a space for the creation of new memories as well as reflections on the past.

Katayoun Dowlatshahi drew on Hull’s diverse habitat for her vinyl designs for Cecil Gardens. As the development is located on Hawthorn Avenue, she is particularly keen to reflect the many forms of the Hawthorn plant in her designs.

Rona Smith’s glazing series for Redwood Glades is based on the form of a paper plane, taking inspiration from themes of nostalgia and childhood.

Tim Norris’s design for a summer house at Cecil Gardens is based upon the historical flora of the area and is inspired by a springtime bud.

Each scheme will also feature sculptures – Peter Coates has designed a series of sculptures for Harrison Park, Jim Milner has created some for Cecil Gardens and Mari-Ruth Oda for Redwood Glades.

The £80 million development, which will comprise 316 one and two bedroom apartments, is due for completion in 2016/17.