The multifaceted installation reflects on the human interaction at the heart of critical and long-term haematology care, located within the large public atrium at the centre of this new pioneering University College Hospital Grafton Way Building. The installation consists of two works and will be a permanent feature of the building.
The first work 'Held' explores the unique relationship between patients, loved ones and clinicians, featuring six individuals from the hospital's current haematology community. Originally small in scale, the delicate and intense watercolour studies have been dramatically enlarged. 'Held' (2021) Triptych 1 & 2, consists of translucent textile banners suspended in two groups of three from the atrium's 21 metres high ceiling, each banner is 10 x 2 metres.
Each triptych grouping represents a triangle of support around a patient. Each figure, painted as a double exposure, captures different emotions. The groupings of three individuals are held in space, held in a structure of support, held in the balance, in a period of uncertainty, in a time of shared endeavour. The veil-like, translucent textile, makes the vibrant figures visible from both sides. There are no outward indications of which role each figure holds, implying the potential strengths and vulnerabilities of any person at different times in life. They look up, down and across the space and are reflected in the internal glazing of the atrium and can be seen from multiple vantage points. The movement of the banners in the airflow of the space, animates each individual. The changing natural and artificial light throughout the day and seasons, causes the figures to overlap in different ways.
The second work 'Sensed', also located in the main atrium, is a panorama of 60 watercolour studies focusing on details of heads, faces and hands. 'Sensed' (2021) explores the sensory communication and dynamics between people during a patient's care. Close-up fragments, expressions and gestures evoke moments of intimate interactions and contact between those involved. Goodwin's process of making each watercolour mirrors aspects of the sensitivity and attentiveness essential in a patient's treatment; studying a subject, entering their world, reading the signs and messages of the body, looking analytically, empathetically and emotionally. The watercolours become evidence of close study and the desire for discovery through human connection. The videos invite visitors to watch the painting process in real-time. The accumulation of small brush strokes suggests the myriad connections and touches that counteract the procedural aspects of treatment. The 33 hours & 33 minutes duration of the moving image cycle, means patients, loved ones and staff who regularly move through the space, will experience the making of different paintings at different times of the day.
The art commission was generously funded by Haematology Cancer Care, UCLH Charity.