Art at the Heart
of the Dyson Cancer Centre

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Art at the Heart

83 art locations, with over 100 pieces thanks to Art at the Heart.

The centre provides a nurturing and therapeutic environment, making use of art and design, natural light, open spaces and noise reduction technology to reduce stress and anxiety and more rooms to safely hold private conversations.

RUHX and other generous donors, including Deirdre Dyson, have funded the art in the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Dyson Cancer Centre
The theme ‘Land, Water and Sky’ runs throughout the building to provide a calming and uplifting environment for patients and staff.

The design of the building also considers different accessibility needs and provides a dementia and disability friendly environment with comprehensive signage throughout the Centre to help people find their way.  The centre will provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment, making use of art and design, natural light, open spaces, and noise reduction technology to reduce stress and anxiety as well as more rooms to safely hold private conversations.

Dyson Cancer Centre

The building has been designed to bring the outside in using natural textures, tones, and colours in a variety of materials that will create a relaxed and welcoming environment without compromising on the complex medical equipment that is required.

Being connected to nature has been shown to support mental and physical health and many of our treatment rooms will have views of outside green spaces and the beautiful surrounding hills and countryside.

The inpatient ward will surround a light filled central courtyard which allows for bed access to enjoy outside peace and tranquillity.

Art, sculpture, and installations will also play an important role, providing a rich representation of nature throughout the centre with subtle, elegant imagery and graphics.

There is a designated ambient room by Chrystel Lebas with a one-hour immersive film shown on a loop that tracks the wood at dawn to dusk to create an atmosphere of tranquillity and calm, providing a place of refuge and contemplation for patients, families, and staff.

The artists and their work in the Dyson Cancer Centre

Find out all about the extraordinary artwork within the Dyson Cancer Centre below

Dyson Cancer Centre Amy Shelton
Amy Shelton
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Photography – William Beck

Botanica #2 by Amy Shelton
Pressed flowers in dimmable light box with stained oak frame

Artist Amy Shelton creates artworks focussing on the natural world and the connection between health and environmental wellbeing. Her exquisite light boxes are in the permanent collections of Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, the Wellcome Collection and London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. Amy’s light box for the Centre uses flowers collected from the renowned gardens at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Bruton, Somerset.

The process is exacting and starts with pressing the flowers for between two and five weeks. Any flower that has a stem thicker than one and a half millimetres has to be meticulously dissected into many parts using a surgical blade and then painstakingly reassembled after pressing. Amy carefully glues every flower part onto a sheet of Perspex and applies a UV sunscreen to preserve the colour before the artwork is assembled into a bespoke light box.


Bruce Munro
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Photography – William Beck

Time and Again by Bruce Munro
Light Sculpture: Etched Stainless Steel disks and framework

World-famous British artist Bruce Munro creates immersive large-scale light installations from his studio in Long Knoll in Wiltshire. He is best known for his Field of Light artworks that have entranced audiences around the world from Bath to Uluru in Australia and Denmark to Mexico City.

Time and Again, the piece he has created for the Centre is one of his favourite themes – time and how we all move through it. Using a lily format as a visual reference was inspired by a visit to Chatsworth House with its large lily-packed canal next to the house along with the tradition of growing lilies in iconic Victorian glasshouses. Nineteen stainless steel lilies form a convex dome, each lily representing past, present and future time pieces. ‘By day the installation lies dormant, quietly marking time of the clouds and sky,’ says Bruce. ‘By night, the central hub of each lily shimmers with radial star bursts of light. It is a mythical timepiece.’

Light Installation prints by Bruce Munro
LE Prints: Donated by the artist

Bruce Munro creates installations to explore ideas and express them to others. ‘It is a great privilege to have the time and means to create’, says Bruce. More often than not Bruce feels like a composer or conductor as there are many people involved in the making of these installations, which confirms his belief that the sum of the whole is truly greater than the individual parts. Like English Summers these works are mostly short lived. Fortunately, he has had the opportunity to commission gifted photographers, such as Mark Pickthall and Ash Mills to record his works. The works will inspire people to cherish the wonders of the present moment and hopefully pass this simple life truth on to others.






Charlie Mackesy
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Photography – William Beck

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Giclée prints

British artist, illustrator and author Charlie Mackesy began his career as a cartoonist for The Spectator, before becoming a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. His award-winning work has featured in books, private collections, galleries and public spaces around the world. His internationally best-selling book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, was published in October 2019 and holds the record for the most consecutive weeks in the Sunday Times Non-Fiction Chart across all formats. Charlie’s words and illustrations have brought comfort to many and have been shared online around the world and displayed across hospital wards and as NHS hospital computer screen savers. A set of eight prints have been generously donated to the Centre by the McGowan family.



Deidre Dyson
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Photography – William Beck

Bulrushes by Deirdre Dyson
Oil on canvas: Donated by the artist

The artist interprets her artistic vision through both paintbrush and loom. Lady Dyson donated this painting to the Dyson Cancer Centre, which features bulrushes and incorporates the building’s themes of land, water and sky. The rushes reflected in a lake at the Dyson’s home near Bath, which inspired this painting, also gave rise to the carpet of the same name, hand knotted and graded in a silk/wool mix with silk rushes. The artist’s inspiration for this series came from the lush grass and pebbled bank on a still day with calm waters. Dyson was struck by these rigid bulrushes catching the sun with perfectly mirrored reflections and idling leaves floating peacefully.


Chrystel Lebas
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Photography – William Beck

Sensing Woodland by Chrystel Lebas
From Dusk till Dawn, 2024, single channel 4K video projection 8 channels sound, 64 min. Loop.

Chrystel Lebas is a renowned artist best known for photography, moving image and sound works that explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Her work has been exhibited internationally at institutions such as the Wellcome Collection, London’s V&A museum and Brussels’ Palais des Beaux Arts. Chrystel Lebas’ installation at the Centre offers an immersive experience including a looped one-hour film recorded in an ancient bluebell forest in Wiltshire, tracking it from dawn to dusk in the spring and paired with a multichannel soundscape.

It captures rain on leaves, wind, calls from foxes and deer, bees buzzing, mice scuttling in leaf litter and birds chirping. Referring to fairy tales, stories and legends, the ancient forest was chosen for its visual impact as well as its symbolism. Translating the sublime power of this ancient forest to the Ambient Room, the installation creates a sense of awe, reminding us of our reliance on the natural world.

Sound recording and design: Chrystel Lebas, Paul Richardson
Filming: Chrystel Lebas
Post-Production: Levin Haegele, Oliver Sutherland Spike Island
Audio Visual Installation: Spike Island

Plant Portraits by Chrystel Lebas
Chromogenic prints: Photograms framed with Museum Glass
Drawing from the ecologist and botanist Sir Edward James Salisbury’s approach to documenting species, Lebas collected ‘weeds’ and placed them directly onto colour photographic paper in the darkroom under the enlarger light. Progressively changing the cyan, magenta or yellow filtration, each colour changes the way the plant emanates from the paper’s surface. The filtration values and exposure times are carefully annotated beneath each photogram.

Some of the chosen plants are part of the species that Salisbury researched extensively and described in his book, Weeds and Aliens. For example, Shepherd’s Cress, scientifically known as Teesdalia nudicaulis, is a common weed found around the world, however the plant is considered endangered in some parts of its native range due to habitat loss and overgrazing. It also belongs to the mustard family and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.



Dyson Cancer Centre
Hamish Mackie
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Photography – William Beck

Bronze Swifts by Hamish Mackie
Generously donated by an RUHX supporter
Edition 1/12, signed by the artist

Hamish Mackie is a renowned wildlife sculptor working from his studio in Hook Norton in Oxfordshire. His commission for the Goodman’s Fields development in London won him the 2016 Public Monuments and Sculpture Association’s Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Fountains. His sculpture for the Dyson Cancer Centre is a pair of swifts captured wheeling on the wing. They are one of the world’s most superb aerial acrobats, sleeping, eating and even mating on the wing. To create the sculpture, he made a steel armature to build the swifts and then modelled them in plasticine, capturing their aerodynamic and fast-moving nature. He casts in bronze using the lost-wax casting technique which has been used for nearly 6,000 years.



Heidi Morstang
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Photography – William Beck

Himmelbilder (Skies of Dawn 2022)
Photographic collage: pearl on aluminium by Heidi Morstang
Heidi Morstang is a UK-based artist, filmmaker, and Associate Professor in Photography at the University of Plymouth. She has exhibited her work internationally since 1995 and her photographs and films are in several private and public collections. Work for Clinical Imaging includes Himmelbilder, (Skies of Dawn) which is Heidi’s visual diary of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every day during lockdown she filmed the sky at sunrise between March 2020 and July 18th, 2021, the last day of restrictions.

Electron micrograph by Heidi Morstang
The Ringhorndalen series of Electron Micrographs explores the interiors of thin slices of rare flora seeds collected in a valley in Svalbard in the High Arctic. These seeds are unique flora samples stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway. The seeds were sliced to optically investigate the interior and exterior surfaces with the intention of seeking visual resemblances of the territorial landscape of Svalbard.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Four Cyanotype prints by Jessica Lennan and Heidi Morstang
These cyanotypes were made in the studio, using dried wildflowers and seeds, mainly from the Dartmoor area in the Southwest of England. Each print shows flowers and plants from each season: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Cyanotypes are created without a camera, but by laying an object on paper coated with a solution before exposing it to UV light. The UV rays from the sun react with the chemicals on the paper to create the cyan-blue background. Where the paper has been covered with an object, it will remain white. The Four Seasons framed prints are displayed across two Patient Preparatory Rooms, providing a valuable distraction for patients.

Landscapes of Deep Time: RUH Ammonites
Electron micrograph cyanotype prints by Heidi Morstang
Heidi’s work Landscapes of Deep Time featured in the Centre was inspired by several ammonites, some up to 200 million years old, that were found when the grounds were cleared for building. She examined tiny fragments of the fossils in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) which uses a focussed beam of electrons instead of light to form an image. Then, she created a Cyanotype, one of the earliest photographic processes dating back to 1842. An object is laid on paper coated with a solution of iron salts before exposing it to UV light creating the characteristic blue colour. Even more details from the fossils emerged in the images and imaginary landscapes from Deep Time became visible.


Kate Bond
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Photography – William Beck

The Green Heart Garden Phlomis by Kate Bond
Main Reception Desk

Kate Bond is a Bath-based designer who creates sensitive and thoughtful design schemes for healthcare environments. She has created the floral design for the enormous desk in the Main Reception area and smaller works in the Inpatient Ward. In addition to the reception desk, Kate has created a series of artworks for The Medlock Day Care Unit with an overarching theme of the Green Heart Garden which covers over 25 meters in the main chemotherapy suite as well as five individual treatment rooms. To create her ethereal artwork, Kate draws on an iPad, often using watercolour effects and a restrained pallet of colours giving her work a gentle quality.

The Green Heart Garden by Kate Bond
Printed onto Birch panels and Plywood: Inpatient Ward
Plants feature throughout Kate’s scheme reflecting the Green Heart Garden soon to be created at the RUH, particularly those species tall enough to peep above chairs and equipment in treatment rooms, providing a gentle distraction for patients. Kate is a firm advocate of biophilic design, which aims to bring nature into healthcare environments. ‘In a hospital setting, it can be difficult to bring the outside in due to infection control, so my designs provide a connection to nature,’ says Kate.

The Green Heart Garden by Kate Bond
Printed onto SDS wall panels: Medlock Day Unit



Lisa Todd
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Photography – William Beck

Ubuntu by Lisa Todd
Beaded Artwork

Lisa Todd is an award-winning artist and designer who creates vibrant artworks and homeware. She was awarded Elle Decoration Print and Pattern Designer of the Year in 2017 and won Living Etc Collection of the Year in 2021. Her work is
in several collections in the UK and US. Growing up in Durban in South Africa gave Lisa her love of colour. Initially an interior designer, a life-changing accident made her change course and in 2016 she founded her company, Lisa Todd Designs, which sells artworks and homewares in her signature style.

To create the range, Lisa paints an original artwork which is developed digitally into a pattern repeat. Expert women beaders from KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town townships then create
the objects. Beading in South Africa is an ancient craft that plays a vital role in expressing identity, preserving traditions and showcasing artistic creativity.



Dyson Cancer Centre
Natasha Clutterbuck
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Photography – William Beck

Murals by Natasha Clutterbuck
Precious Pollinators and the Forest Garden

Natasha Clutterbuck is a Somerset-based artist who specialises in painting vegetables and plants. She is artist in residence at Yeo Valley Organic Garden in Blagdon, Somerset and her paintings have been featured in magazines such as Gardens Illustrated and Country Living. She was commissioned to paint murals in 13 areas in the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub on the theme of Forest Gardening, a sustainable food production method. A key feature of the designs are pollinators and their importance to the ecosystem. Some of the insects are highlighted with a touch of gold leaf, symbolising how precious they are.

Natasha’s process starts by sketching her designs on the wall with charcoal before adding colour. Wherever possible, she uses natural pigments, red iron, yellow ochre and, unusually, mud collected around her home. ‘I like the way that using it in my work connects the subject matter back to the earth,’ she says.



Mark Sands
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Photography – William Beck

Bee-eaters in Olive Trees by Mark Benson Sands
Acrylic on canvas

Mark Benson Sands is an internationally acclaimed painter of murals and trompe l’oeils. Brought up in Compton Dando near Bath, he was born into a family of renowned art restorers and took part in the restoration of Windsor Castle after the devastating fire in 1992. For the Dyson Cancer Centre mural, he decided to use the landscape around his home in central Portugal as inspiration, featuring olive trees and bee-eaters. ‘Bee-eaters arrive in Portugal from southern Africa in the spring and for me they symbolise a sense of renewal and rebirth,’ Mark says. ‘And olive trees are so ancient and provide so many health-giving elements from oil to leaf teas.’


Dornith Doherty
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Photography – William Beck

Husk Corn by Dornith Doherty
Lenticular Print
Dornith Doherty is an American artist and academic whose work is concerned with environmental themes. She is Distinguished Research Professor in photography at the University of North Texas and her work is in many international collections. Husk Corn (Landrace) comes from the body of work Archiving Eden in which Dornith explores the role of seed banks and their preservation efforts in the face of climate change and extinction.
This particular work concerns Landrace corn which she studied at the US National Seed bank and created artworks from the magnified x-ray images she took. Landrace corns are local and traditional varieties of corn developed and maintained for generations by smaller farmers. What is significant about them is that their genetic diversity can be used to build pest, pathogen and drought resistance into existing corn crops, making them very valuable for future food security.

Bath Photographic Society
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Photography – William Beck

Bath Photographic Society Gallery
Exhibition space

Bath Photographic Society was founded in 1888, they welcome new members, from beginners to medal winners. Their members have a wide range of styles from wildlife, landscape and architecture through to abstract contemporary images. Bath Photographic Society are delighted to supply images for the Dyson Cancer Centre and they hope the images are enjoyed by all. The Society has shown their work at the hospital for many years and we are pleased to show them in Dyson Cancer Centre with the intention of changing the exhibition twice a year.

North Gallery
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Photography – William Beck

The North Gallery provides an opportunity to show changing exhibitions of art which are available to buy. Located near the main waiting areas, exhibitions will feature collections of inspiring art on themes of landscape, still life and nature. There will be a new exhibition to enjoy approximately every four months and exhibitions will be curated by RUH fundraising volunteers Lucy Newark and Diana Lanham. Commission on sales will support fundraising for Art at the Heart projects such as uplifting arts workshops for cancer patients, music performances and arts programmes on the children’s and older patient wards.

All the photos and videos of the Dyson Cancer Centre

See all the extraordinary photos and videos of the the Dyson Cancer Centre.