Juleit and Jamie Gutch's commission for the Northumbria Hospital featured in The Telegraph


Juleit and Jamie Gutch's commission for the Northumbria Hospital featured in The Telegraph

The art of healing: hospital unveils sculpture to lift the eyes and spirit
Mobile sculpture brings a sense of balance to new specialist trauma hospital in Northumbria, says Richard Holt

“I think artwork in a hospital should be either contemplative or distracting. How clever that this work succeeds in doing both.”
This was the reaction of Royal Academy artist Alison Wilding to the huge mobile sculpture that dominates the reception area of the new specialist emergency care hospital – the first of its kind in England – that has opened in Cramlington, Northumbria.
The artwork, A Murmuration of Starlings, is the creation of Juliet and Jamie Gutch from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a husband and wife team of artists specialising in mobiles.
The piece is five metres high and four metres wide and was commissioned by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as part of its healing arts programme.

Brenda Longstaff, who heads up the programme, said: “We wanted a striking sculpture that would act as a centrepiece to the building and help create a special environment for all. The mobile certainly delivers on that, and much, much more. From the moment of entering the hospital it will have an impact, creating a welcome sight for people to admire.”
The sculpture was created with input from Year 7 and 8 pupils from a local school, who submitted their own drawings of birds in flight that helped form the basis of the final design.
Juliet Gutch said: “It is really important to us that we give our communities the opportunity to contribute to areas which will impact on so many people. We have been delighted to work with the pupils at Cramlington Learning Village and we would like to thank them for being part of this fantastic project.”
She added: “A Murmuration of Starlings is like a living sculpture in the sky. Within the flock, each individual starling is responsible for maintaining the whole by working extremely closely with those immediately around them.
“We feel this is an excellent metaphor for how a hospital works and that a mobile, with its different parts moving harmoniously together, is the ideal artform through which to express this.”