Our most recent commission is a glistening golden oak – it was installed to recognise the incredible gift of life given by organ donors, with the support of their families.
The sculpture, located in our cardiology courtyard, is a permanent reminder of the life-changing difference organ and tissue donation can have on individuals and their families, and to encourage people to sign up as organ donors themselves.
The project was the initiative of the Organ Donation team at Dorset County Hospital, led by Consultant Anaesthetist, Andy Ball, and Specialist Nurse, Helen Rose, in conjunction with the Arts in Hospital team.
Sculptor Andy Kirkby is the mastermind behind Precious Scars. Selected from more than 100 other artists, he took the theme of organ donation and renewed life to produce a striking sculpture that took over a year to complete.
A “tree of life”, the sculpture is also inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken ceramics are lovingly restored with gold resin to highlight their wounds rather than to try to hide them. In this way they are reused and become a thing of beauty instead of being thrown away. Andy Kirkby sees this as a metaphor for the way in which organ donation is a gift of life that repairs the recipient. It is also why he is calling the sculpture “Precious Scars”. The oak tree has been donated to the hospital from the Lulworth Estate, where it died some time ago, and is now being re-born at the Hospital.
The trunk is set on an industrial base to blend with the industrial look of the courtyard from the air-conditioning units.
A special event was held when the work was unveiled. It was attended by the families of organ donors whose loved ones gave the incredible gift of life, Andy Kirkby, as well as staff members of Dorset County Hospital.
Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Dorset County Hospital, Andy Ball said: “For some time I have wanted to provide a memorial to celebrate the fantastic gift that our organ donors and their families have made to allow others to have a second chance at life.
“We are keen to fulfil our patients’ wishes to donate their organs and we do not want to miss the opportunity of being able to transform someone else’s life. One donor could help at least six people live a better life.
“I would like this sculpture to empower more families to have a conversation about organ and tissue donation, and ultimately save more lives.
“Anyone who would like to register as a donor can do so online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Kirkby added: “It's been a pleasure to work on a project with such an important message to convey.
“The challenge of where art can be found and how it can function beyond the aesthetic remains an exciting prospect to all artists.''
Discover more about Andy Kirkby’s work at www.andykirkby.com
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We aim to enhance the healing environment for patients, visitors and staff here at Dorset County Hospital, through visual art, performance and music. Please help us to continue and expand our programme by donating. Your donations can be used to commission and purchase new artwork to brighten up the hospital or to fund new participatory projects with professional artists and musicians.