Brian Eno launches art installation at Hove hospital
An exhibition that calmed down a surgeon’s normally energetic mother-in-law has been installed in a Hove hospital to help treat patients.
The privately-run Montefiore Hospital in Montefiore Road has become the first in the world to install Brian Eno’s work.
The former musician with Roxy Music and producer for Talking Heads was the guest director of Brighton Festival 2010 which included his installation 77 Million Paintings.
Surgeon Robin Turner said his mother-in-law sat down and enjoyed the quiet serenity of the ambient music and changing images for two hours.
Mr Turner then contacted Mr Eno’s manager to discuss the potential health and wellbeing benefits in a hospital.
Florence Nightingale observed in 1859 that, “variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients have a powerful effect and are actual means of recovery”.
In 2007 the Department of Health Review of Arts and Health Working Group found arts and health should be firmly recognised as being integral to health, healthcare provision and healthcare environments.
Mr Eno’s involvement has seen a quiet room installed in the hospital as a place for patients, staff and visitors to “escape” with ambient music and changing panels of colour and a 77 Million Paintings for Montefiore installation of light and generative music in the hospital’s reception.
Quiet and listen
The artist said: “The images on the screens are made up of combinations of images that I’ve drawn over the years.
“A piece of software selects these images at random and combines them to create ever-new combinations.
“Music does something to you that says ‘be quiet and listen’. That’s the main reason for having music actually, it makes you quiet.”
He tore apart his initial drawings and went to timber yard Wickes for inspiration, where he decided the work should be based around straight lines.
Former Macmillan nurse Lynette Awdry, who is now a matron at Montefiore Hospital and has worked with cancer patients for 30 years, said the luxury of the quiet room will enhance care for both patients and staff.
She said: “The relatives can come and have some time out for themselves for exactly the same reasons as the patients need it.”
Mr Eno hopes to expand the work at the Spire Healthcare centre into other hospitals.
Comments in the visitors’ book said: “You can feel your blood pressure calming by the minute. It made me think of cells and change and the beauty of life.”
“Absolutely stunningly beautiful, calm, distracting in a very positive way. Wonderful concept. Congratulations in a beautiful waiting area.”
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