Richard Harris


Richard Harris

Landscape Courtyards in Purbeck stone, designed in collaboration with 4D landscape Design.

While Phase 2 of the hospital was at the planning stage, Arts in Hospital involved the artists Richard Harris in the development of the three main central courtyards.

The walls appear to have existed before the buildings around them and there is a sense of flowing dynamism and energy that is neither restricted not restrained by the enclosed courtyards. The slowly rising curves of the sculpture are in direct contrast to the straight lines and flat surfaces of the building itself.

The curving 'movement' of the sculpture serves to interlock one courtyard to the other and as you move through and up the central stairwell the patterns and rhythms of the walls change in a fluid dynamic, suggestive of the backbone of some ancient structure. The relatively thin Purbeck stone used throughout the piece was especially quarried for the sculpture.

Richard works primarily in nature and with nature, creating 'land art'. He has worked extensively in the UK and overseas often undertaking rural residencies and commissions. This commission received an RSA Art for Architecture award and a grant from the Henry Moore Foundation.

Unfortunately in the last 25 years DCH has undergone much expansion and development. This has been necessary to accommodate the ever growing population of rural Dorset, particular with developments such as Poundbury springing up. Due to this only one of Richard's original courtyards remain. However, we are currently working with him to rework and reuse some of the Purbeck stone in a smaller courtyard space. In this way we hope to continue the narrative and honour the original project through relevant interpretation.

Photo courtesy of Simon Nobes

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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.

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