Hospital unveils new 'Positive Bradford' art instillation
Bradford Teaching Hospitals will today unveil its contribution to Positive Bradford’s celebration of everything that is good about the city.
The Foundation Trust commissioned nationally-acclaimed photographer, Ian Beesley, to capture Bradford free-runner Dwain Clarke in various locations around the city.
The artwork, which is entitled ‘Upwards and Onwards’ also incorporates words of positivity by well-known Yorkshire poet, Ian McMillan and was unveiled by Foundation Trust Chairman, David Richardson in the Horton Wing of St Luke’s Hospital.
Chief Executive Miles Scott said: “We wanted to celebrate and support the work of Positive Bradford and as Ian is one of the area’s leading artists we thought he would be perfect in helping to capture the city’s positivity, vibrancy and people.
“We are delighted that this collection of ‘Onwards and Upwards’ pictures and poetry is being enshrined in St Luke’s today as it reflects not just the city’s but the Foundation Trust’s optimism in this area, its people and its splendid heritage.”
Free-running is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the rural landscapes to perform movements through its structures.
Ian came across the subject of his instillation by chance.
He said: “It is well known that Bradford is surrounded by some of the best countryside in England, contains some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture, is the curry capital of the UK and is home to the National Media Museum, all these aspects have been used regularly as the positive examples of the city.
“I wanted to produce a series of images that reflected a different side of the city, its vibrancy, and its optimism whilst referencing its splendid heritage. Not the easiest thing to achieve, I struggled to develop a strong concept at first, until by sheer chance, one beautiful afternoon, I was walking past the Alhambra Theatre, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a young man hurtling through the air, twisting, turning landing on his two feet and somersaulting away. He was followed by two other leaping somersaulting young men, who smiled as I looked on in admiration.
“I approached, congratulating them on their skill and asked what it was they were doing: ‘free running - parkour - this where we practice,’ they said.”
Ian asked if he could capture the group’s leader, Dwain Clarke, and the pair arranged a day when Ian could return with his camera to capture the free-running against the backdrop of some of Bradford’s iconic buildings.
After creating a sequence of seven images, which Ian called Upwards and Onwards, he asked his friend and poet Ian McMillan, to write a short poem to accompany his shots.
Ian McMillan’s poem (below) is captured with a sentence to each of Ian Beesley’s images and has been printed on a banner approximately 28 feet long and 3 feet high which today was permanently installed in an outpatient waiting area in St Luke’s Hospital.
Upwards and onwards and sideways and through
Turning and rolling in Bradford’s bright sky
Shaking the moment and catching the light
This is a place where young people can fly
Over the tight streets in air shining clear:
The future is now and the future is here!
Co-Founder of Positive Bradford, Jane Vincent, said: “When Bradford Teaching Hospitals said they would commission some art work for Positive Bradford day we were absolutely delighted, however when we saw the sheer brilliance of the work done by Ian Beasley we were astounded.
“It totally represented the message we wanted to promote on the day, he is a genius.”
Art instillations can help bring interest, warmth and colour to clinical environments which might otherwise appear cold and sterile. Research has shown they can also have a positive effect on patients; helping to reduce sickness, anxiety and stress, improving treatment outcomes and increasing the well-being of staff and the general public.