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St Mary’s Hospital transformed by 56m mural


Bridget Riley, the internationally recognised British artist, has completed a spectacular new mural at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

The mural, measuring 56 metres long, was commissioned by Imperial College Healthcare Charity Art Collection for the 10th floor of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother building.

“This means a lot to me because the doctors and nurses want it”

Bridget Riley

This work joins two others for the 8th and 9th floors completed by Ms Riley for the hospital over 20 years ago.

The murals feature saturated colours and flowing, rhythmic stripes, and are painted directly onto the hospital walls.

Ms Riley said: “They aim to lift the spirits and to remind one of life outside the hospital, while in no way interfering with the essential activities of the hospital as it goes about its business.

“They also have my work next to… the major trauma ward,” she said. “This means a lot to me because the doctors and nurses want it and it reminds patients that theirs is a transitory state, that they are there to recover and re-join life – that life goes on, and life is outside-and they feel reassured.”

Rosemary Harris, curator of Imperial’s Charity Art Collection, said: “The hospital is privileged to have the commitment of such a great artist to create these really wonderful works.

“[They] have transformed the clinical environment into an uplifting and beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.”


Readers' comments (12)

  • Very nice, but how much did this cost?

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  • when I scanned the 56m in the index I thought that was the cost!

    the problem is that it does not appeal to all tastes. the reality may be different but personally I find it rather nauseating and dizzy making which could be a lot worse if one is feeling unwell. I prefer plain calming and fairly neutral colours.

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  • Do we really have 56 million pounds to spare in the NHS? Who decided on this -it is lovely but how many staff could we pay for with this HUGE amount of money??????

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  • Kirsty Armstrong | 12-Apr-2014 11:06 am
    from Anonymous | 12-Apr-2014 9:39 am

    56m (metres) long

    I fell into the same trap but the cost is not disclosed

    I don't think any hospital corridor wall could possibly be worth 56m - unless it was plated with gold leaf!

    why not just cover it with graphiti and give work to some talented young street artists and creative patients. it would have been more interesting. some is amazing.

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  • Makes me dizzy looking at it. Not a peaceful or attractive sight

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  • Fairly brain damaging, but better than our pictures of people eating at McDonalds for some reason.

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  • great billboard and advertising space. they could put up some subliminal messages about diet and healthy eating and lifestyle!

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  • Oh good Good
    Where's the sick bags?

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  • It's kind of pretty, and certainly better than plain walls, but I'm not sure I buy into all that stuff about it "lifting spirits" and "reminding one of life outside the hospital". Wouldn't soothing pictures of nature do that better?

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  • Joanna Rowntree | 15-Apr-2014 12:07 pm

    YES, definitely - just like the new loos on Swiss trains with mountain scenery or clouds!

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