Bradford Royal Infirmary

A Tree of Yorkshire Birds

We were honoured to be asked to collaborate on the Organ Donation Wall Sculpture project, working with Hospital Art Studio and the Van De Bospoort family.

The tree of life has often been referred to as a symbol of immortality and rebirth. The growth of new buds and fresh leaves represent the beginning of new life and a fresh start. The Bradford Royal Infirmary couldn’t have chosen a more poignant image to be displayed for organ donation. The hospital wanted this artwork to be an uplifting memorial to organ donors.

The Story

This unique design was brought to us by Hospital Art Studio who were inspired by a poem written by Karen Van de Bospoort;

As red light turns gold,
Birds begin to sing.
And all at once the apple tree is brought to life.
Thrushes, Wrens, Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits.
Their plump bodies replacing last season’s apples.
A glut of winter fruits!

The Sculpture

The entire sculpture was an impressive 8 metres tall, but even at this size, the entire piece included intrinsic detail. The overall design of the piece had an aged copper print effect to the face, as it depicts an autumn feel. Each individual bird was then laser cut from brushed aluminium composite material and incorporated specific detailing including wing patterns. We choose to use this finish as it would enable the birds to shimmer in various lights throughout the day. Our CNC machine was able to cut to exceptional detail which was integral for this design.

We choose to use full-colour digital print to the face of brushed ACM, as this creates an aged copper finish. In addition to those on the tree, there were featured birds flying from the tree that had a verdigis finish and were studded separately from the main sculpture. The entire piece was finalised with a gloss lacquer finish. Above the tree, the lettering ‘The Gift of Life’ was fitted with spacers to create a focal point.

We also ensured that any fixings needed to mount the sculpture were carefully hidden so it did not interfere with the overall design.

Nationwide Installation

The Trust wanted to do something to recognise the sacrifice and importance of donors and their families, as well as celebrate the new life breathed into recipients and I am delighted that the tree is now in place as it is a very fitting and lasting memorial. Andy Baker - Clinical Lead for Organ Donation and Consultant Anaesthetist,

The Project

The entire project was managed by our own David Shackleton and he was assisted by the team in our in-house studio. The production process was overseen by Edward Hillam, Imageco’s Operations Manager, aided by the production supervisors and finishing operatives. They worked with the client each step of the way, proving samples when appropriate and explaining the choice of materials.

The final sculpture was installed by John Simpson from Online Print Installations. Mounting a piece this large was no small task, but with his expertise, he was able to make the installation process look simple.

It was an honour to work with the award-winning agency Hospital Art Studio on the production of this project.

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