Blue sky thinkingBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7560.168-a (Published 20 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:168
Three thousand blue and white discs hanging from a steel frame create the image of a shimmering blue sky and provide an uplifting entrance to a new psychiatric unit in Bristol.
This fence is just one of many artefacts in the new unit, which is part of Callington Road Hospital, built to replace Barrow Hospital.
Works include wall hangings, ceramics, water features, paintings, and garden benches and have been made in cooperation with staff and users of the mental health services. In some cases, patients were involved in making the works and visited artists' workshops and the quarry from which some of the stone came.
Artist Walter Jack discussed his ideas for the blue sky fence at several sessions at the hospital and also involved a local school, Brislington Enterprise College, in the design. Cabinet making students at Brunel College, Bristol, helped to put it together.
The hospital trust has a £100 000 (€150 000; $180 000) grant from the Department of Health to evaluate the impact of the art.