Artwork unveiled at Scotland's first net-zero carbon hospital

1-Mar-2022

Community installation takes pride of place at Balfour Hospital on Orkney

The Copper Herring Wall was designed by school children and NHS staff in conjunction with local artist, Jack Whitwell

The Copper Herring Wall was designed by school children and NHS staff in conjunction with local artist, Jack Whitwell

Unique artwork has been unveiled at Scotland’s first net-zero carbon hospital.

The first installation of three pieces by local artist, Jack Whitwell, can now be viewed at Balfour Hospital on Orkney, the country's first hospital built to a net-zero standard, which means the running of the building does not contribute carbon emissions.

Postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the installation – the Copper Herring Wall – takes pride of place over the stairwell leading up to the ward areas.

The herring were hand designed by local primary school children and staff of NHS Orkney and represent the community spirit of the county.

Meghan McEwan, NHS Orkney board chairman, said: “The installation of this absolutely-delightful piece of artwork is a powerful reminder of how important our community is to everything NHS Orkney does. From the art on our walls, to the services we provide, it is so important that we reflect and value those we care for.

“Jack has done an incredible job of creating something with school children that is also elegant, and Orcadian besides.”

Councillor Gwenda Shearer, chairman of the education, leisure and housing committee at Orkney Islands Council, added: “We’re delighted to now see the first of these three sculptures being installed, and proud to have been part of early efforts through our arts development team to help devise a wonderful public arts project for the new hospital.

“We hope the Orkney public enjoy the fruits of this partnership working and that the artworks bring both joy, comfort, and a sense of community through the Orkney imagery so cleverly employed by Jack.”

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Whitwell is now working on two further installations – a glass structure reflecting a Kelp Forest, and a stone structure reminiscent of Orkney’s many standing stones.