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29 October 2014
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Visual Arts


Detail from sculpture Dancers 2004
Detail from sculpture Dancers 2004

New sculptures at Ipswich Hospital

You don't often expect to see glamorous ballroom dancers when moving through the corridors of a hospital but you can now at Ipswich Hospital!


Paul Richardson's new sculptures, Dancers 2004, consist of two stylish dancing couples with wide grins.  They have been placed in a courtyard on the south side of the hospital, an area surrounded by corridors just off entrance two.

Detail from Dancers 2004
Detail from Dancers 2004

At a time when ballroom dancing is suddenly back in fashion, it's hoped that these cartoon-like figures in silver and gold will put a smile on the faces of the patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.

Paul Richardson's ideas behind the sculptures had nothing to do with BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, he planned the works well before the hit series.  Paul spent time in the hospital thinking about what he would make and as he watched the bustle of activity it reminded him of the movements in dance. 

"The use of sculptures in the courtyards continues the work of improving the patient environment."
Christine Smart, Chairman, The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

For some of the patients and visitors in the hospital the sculptures are sure to  spark fond memories of spending Saturday nights ballroom dancing, for others it is a spectacle to make them smile. Like 24-hour dance-a-thons, the Dancers are there in the hospital courtyard come rain or shine, 24/7, always beaming.

The sculptures were commissioned by The Ipswich Hospital Trust's Arts for Health Group and  are made out of steel that was cut, bent and welded into position piece by piece. They took about four and a half months to build, have been painted to make them weather proof and together weigh around one ton.

Dancers 2004 by Paul Richardson
Dancers 2004 by Paul Richardson

Christine Smart, Chairman of The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said: "The display of artwork within the hospital is a feature that we are particularly proud of and the use of sculptures in the courtyards continues the work of improving the patient environment."

Suffolk artist Paul Richardson has won other public commissions in the Midlands, Kent, Staffordshire and Essex. Examples of his work are also dotted throughout the Suffolk landscape including the 'Red Indian' in his own village of Middleton; the village sign in Capel St Andre, and "Scramble" an airman and dog at Flixton's Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation museum. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF 'DANCERS 2004'? HAVE YOUR SAY!

last updated: 08/12/04
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Tell us what you think about the new sculptures at Ipswich Hospital.
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Kirsty MacLennan
Awesome! Fantastic use of tone and colour. Sure to put a smile on a few faces.

Katherine
Art in hospitals is not funded by the NHS, it says in the article that these were funded by the Ipswich Hospital Trust's Art for Health Group, I think its great that groups want to give money to improve hospital environments for patients and staff.

VAL PINFIELD
What a waste of money WHY.

MADRANE NOURREDDINE
LES SCULPTURES SONT MOCHES DANS UN HOPITAL IL FAUT FAIRE D AUTRES POUR DONNER LA JOIE AUX MALADES

Nikos Christodoulou
I think the cost of these sculptures to the Suffolk-East NHS Organisations should be adressed. It seems that while cutting services to repay debt, the hospital is wasting money on art.

Priscilla Cawthorn
I think they are great!! I'm using them in my GCSE art project. I think they put a smile on everyones face!

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