AWARD WINNER: A Walk in the Park

  • Artist(s):
    Richard Franks (Blue and White Creative), Benjamin Lam
  • Artform(s):
    Graphic Design
  • Venue(s):
    Manor Hospital Walsall
Award winning project A Walk in the Park is an intelligent, playful and sensitive transformation of a clinical environment. Commissioned by Walsall Manor Hospital to develop their X-Ray rooms, Richard Franks (Blue and White Creative) and Benjamin Lam have received the WMAHW Arts & Health Awards 2014 Environments Award.

Project Information

Commissioned by Walsall Manor Hospital Estates Team, the artists produced two wall-to-ceiling artworks for the hospital’s two refurbished X-ray rooms. The project involved a consultation process to produce creative, sensitive, logistical and physical solutions to a range of complex needs concerning the space and the health and wellbeing of those using the facility.

An X-ray will often need to be taken under difficult circumstances, when a patient may be distressed or upset. By working closely with our client, Richard Franks (Blue and White Creative) and Benjamin Lam were able to create designs to accommodate the needs of the most complex patient groups - those suffering from dementia, young people up to the age of 18 - and everyone in between. The X-ray rooms required effective visual solutions that would assist radiographers in taking X-rays quickly and accurately, causing minimum distress to the patient. Their solution was to create immersive designs that would provide a talking point, a game or a story that would help a carer to distract the patient during their X-ray. The imagery in the design was developed from their clients’ concept, featuring recognisable local places to Walsall residents. The design offers a calming way to use memory, imagination and play. For children, the designs offer ready-made visual games, for example, “can you count the butterflies?” and “can you find the frog?” providing instant engagement and distraction. The final pieces create a relaxing, environment beneficial to everyone involved in the process of taking an X-ray.

This highly specialised work required extensive consultation, research and a clear understanding of the issues affecting the specified patient groups. Every aspect of the design including the imagery, materials and colour palette adhered to specific patient and health and safety guidelines. The designs effectively accommodated the tight constraints of the space, working around the placing of equipment and to fixed installation timescales.