Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford Commemorative Commission

I’m heading to Oxford this weekend, and I’m planning to visit the recently unveiled public art commission, Pollinator by Simon Periton, at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (I worked on a public engagement project for the work, so particularly excited to see the finished work realised and in situ)… here’s a few images of Periton’s work The Alchemical Tree at the ROQ…

Anyway, in checking out Modus Operandi’s website I’ve just stumbled across this exciting news about the Three Seated Figures by sculptor Daniel Silver. Silver’s Three Seated Figures is the winning submission of an invited competition for the Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission, organized by arts consultancy Modus Operandi.

Three Seated Figures by Daniel Silver 2015 maquette for Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission 1 (2)

Daniel Silver, Three Seated Figure (maquette) 2015, Carrara marble

For those that aren’t aware, the ROQ is a new, public development owned by the University of Oxford on the site of an old hospital, the Radcliffe Infirmary. Info on Modus Operandi’s website reads,

“The Radcliffe Nurses have formed an initiative to celebrate their work and that of all those in the former Radcliffe Infirmary on site, with a public artwork for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ). The Radcliffe Nurses raised funds for the initial competition and maquette; fundraising is now in progress towards the realization of this important work, planned to be located outside St. Luke’s Chapel, Triton Square.

Inspired by the Michael Rosen poem These Are The Hands, in particular the lines:

‘These are the hands
That touch us first… …And touch us last’

and referencing various existing works on site at the ROQ – Bernini’s Triton Fountain and John Bacon’s statue of Atlas and Hercules on the roof of the Radcliffe Observatory – Silver’s initial approach was inspired by the context and history of the site:
‘I wanted to engage with and understand the architecture and surroundings of the area. I looked at the layout of the Quarter and was struck by the straight, linear approach to the buildings, which effectively choreographs our movement through the space.’”

Interesting how Silver has been inspired by the psychology of the space in creating his sculpture, the maquette of which is currently on display at the Andrew Wiles Building in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. Beautifully sensitive that the artist has captured how the approach to medicine is often so linear, and yet the holistic approach taken by many nurses is quite opposite to that, and this has been captured in sculpture.

Fundraising is being led by the Radcliffe Nurses and Modus Operandi: those interested in supporting the commission should contact: modus@modusoperand-art.com I hope the work is realised.

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