Victoria Tischler – Mental health in three dimensions: a sculpture for the new building, blog post 2

In her second blog post, Victoria Tischler, the Institute’s arts co-ordinator, writes about shortlisted applicants who each have a vision of representing mental health in a sculpture.  She also talks about the annual Koestler awards at Rampton and gives us a description of the inside of the new building!

For more information about commissioning an artwork to mark the opening of the new headquarters, please see Victoria’s post from 2 March 2012.

We’ve now shortlisted 4 artists for the project. I know that I previously said we’d shortlist 3 but we had 50 very good applications so it was an extremely difficult task. Neil Walker from the Djanogly gallery, Paul Crawford, Nick Manning, Tim Harris, medical student Abdi Mohamud and artist Rob van Beek joined me on the panel for the arduous yet enjoyable deliberations. The 4 are very different in vision, technique and use of materials. We have included individuals who are conventional sculptors and others who are more conceptual. All responded persuasively to the brief. They are now visiting Nottingham to see the site and to consult with people who have experience of mental health difficulties and who are interested in art in order to prepare their maquettes.

I have met with 2 artists so far to look at the proposed sculpture site, next to the IMH front entrance, and will meet the other 2 over the next few weeks. I’ve responded to lots of questions about the Institute and about mental health. This has included topics such as diagnostic criteria, clinical environments, different types of mental health professionals, and current and historical approaches to treatment. One artist is looking at brain imaging material kindly provided by my colleague Lena Palaniyappan. I have referred technical queries about the site to my colleagues in the Estates office. I am looking forward to seeing the maquettes when they are ready on the 2nd May. These will be in the lobby of Sir Colin Campbell building for you to look at before they move with us to the new building in late May. Images will be put on the IMH website. Please do have a look and send your comments in. Let me know what you like and what you don’t!

I visited Rampton hospital recently to consult with patients about the project. I gave out the annual Koestler awards and told the assembled gathering about the project. I then looked at some of the award-winning art and talked to artists about their work. Several people had given the sculpture a lot of thought and I collected some excellent ideas about how the sculpture might look, what it should be made of, and what it should represent. I collated these and will distribute to the shortlisted artists. I am also going to keep people at Rampton posted about the project via regular updates.

I was lucky enough to visit the site of the new build last week. Here I am with Susan Dominic (Division of Psychiatry) and Kate Duncan (City Arts) complete with hard hat and steel-toed boots.


It was fascinating to look through the building and its surrounds accompanied by Ian from the construction team, Richard Wigginton (Estates), Gerry Carton, Keith Dorn, Maria Nikolaou and Lorna Viikna. The site is a hive of activity and even though it is not yet complete I can report that the building is spacious, with interesting angles, and full of light. From the top floor (D) you can see right over to Wollaton Hall. The ground floor has an undulating corridor where we will hang art work. We also found lots more space to hang work so we can increase the amount of art displayed in the Institute’s exhibitions. I cant wait to move in to my new office on C floor in a few weeks time.


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One response to “Victoria Tischler – Mental health in three dimensions: a sculpture for the new building, blog post 2

  1. Pingback: Shortlist for IMH Sculpture – Vote for your favourite! | IMH Blog (Nottingham)

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