We are delighted to announce that an artist has been selected to produce a new art installation called ‘One Thousand Thank Yous’. Funded by the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Organ Donation Committee, the piece is set to be built and installed in the atrium at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital during 2016.
Irwin Wilson who leads the Arts Steering Group at the Trust said: “One Thousand Thank Yous will be a way of recognising and thanking the organ and tissue donors and their families for their extraordinary gifts.
“As well as being an absorbing and engaging piece to be enjoyed by patients, staff and visitors in its own right, we also hope that the installation will be a continuing point of interest, raising awareness of the value of organ donation for years to come.
“We are appealing to members of the public to contribute to this landmark installation by visiting our website: www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/thousandthanks and emailing us with their stories and thank yous.”
Transplant Nurse Leanne Fare, representing the Organ Donation Committee said: “It has been a really exciting project to be involved in - from the initial questions by us, the Organ Donation Committee, to whether it could be possible to have a piece of artwork to celebrate and commemorate patients that have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation; to interviewing talented artists, selecting the final design and now, we are in readiness to see the final installation.
“It is so important to have this recognition for all those patients & families that have willingly thought of others and have given the gift of life. We hope that the personal messages from the 1000 recipients make this truly stunning design even more special.”
The Organ Donation committee have worked with the new Embrace arts programme at the Trust to commission and selected the chosen artist. After an open call for entries, a number of artists were shortlisted with the chosen winner being George King Architects.
George King architects commented: “We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity to create an installation celebrating the incredible gift of organ donation. One Thousand Thank Yous takes the form of a large gold heart constructed from 1000 small gold gift tags.
“Each gift tag will be inscribed with a message from a transplant recipient to their donor. The heart shape has been chosen as it is an instantly recognisable symbol whilst also being one of the most common forms of organ transplant, providing the gift of life to hundreds of people each year. This has been an inspiring brief to respond to and we hope that One Thousand Thank Yous will be a worthy reflection of a remarkable act.”
George King Architects is a London and Melbourne based architecture practice founded by award winning architect George King. They also have local links, including a studio in Uley, Gloucestershire. The studio works within the disciplines of architecture, art and design, creating innovative design projects that are not just beautiful and intriguing forms but which also facilitate engaging experiences.
Organ transplantation is one of medicine’s great success stories, transforming thousands of lives each year. And yet, tragically, on average three people a day die in the UK because not enough organs are available. Currently in the UK there are approximately 7,000 patients on the National Transplant Waiting list in need of organs.
Funding for the artwork has come from the Gloucestershire Hospitals Organ Donation Committee. This group is a collection of clinical professionals and volunteers who are working to maximise the overall number of organs donated through raising awareness of organ donation and by providing support for potential donors and their families.
We hope long term that the visual impact of the artwork will help to engage with the public to increase support for organ donation, to encourage them to join the organ donor register and to engage others to do the same.
For more info please contact Kate on 0300 422 3563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Organ Donation at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Within Gloucestershire there are currently 118 patients in need of an organ transplant. These patients are the ones that survive to be listed, unlike many others who do not live to make the list.
During 2014-2015 a total of 43 Gloucestershire patients received life-saving organ transplants. A further 76 patients within the local area received sight-saving surgery using donated eye tissue.
GHNHSFT is keen to recognise organ donations as the last and perhaps greatest gift given by patient’s families. Last year, 22 patients in the UK received a life-saving organ transplant as a direct result of the kind and altruistic gifts given by Gloucestershire families.