With ‘love’ from The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends – new feature artwork for Oldham’s A&E

roh league
With ‘love’ from The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends – new feature artwork for Oldham’s A&E
08 May 2015

THE Royal Oldham Hospital’s A&E department has a new highlight, thanks to generous support from the League of Friends group. 

Impressed with the wonderful embroidered artwork ‘anyone who has a heart’ by Lou Gardiner, which marked the transition of services from Rochdale Infirmary into the new women and children’s department at The Royal Oldham Hospital, the League invited Lou to devise a new embroidered work to welcome patients at the new entrance to the A&E department. 

Entitled ‘love makes the world go round’ the artwork acts as a sister piece to the previous commission, but takes its inspiration from the geography and flow of people around the Oldham and Manchester area. 

Arts projects manager, Rob Vale, explains that “the wonderful thing about Lou’s work is its layered approach.  On first glance visitors see a map like a splash of colour, inviting and warming.  Then on closer inspection we see the huge amount of detailed embroidered features – tiny little threads that all weave together to form the whole.  People seem to really enjoy exploring the works as they wait or pass by, seeing new things each time.”

Artist Lou Gardiner said:

“’Love makes the world go round’ is a large vibrant rolling ball of embroidery, intricate appliqué, painting and stitch designed to give the entrance to The Royal Oldham Hospital’s A&E department an instantly positive and friendly atmosphere.  The ball comprises a map of Greater Manchester and Oldham built with brightly coloured shapes and textures, reminiscent of a stained glass window or colourful quilt.  These reassuring associations are both therapeutic and gentle. 

“Colour plays an extremely important role in our lives and really enhances our mood, especially in health care or hospital environments.  I wanted this piece to be a celebratory statement which people can discover and enjoy over time, or just enjoy its warmth and power as they pass through this part of the hospital.”

Rose Hall, secretary from The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends, said:

“The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends are always striving to make the lives of patients and visitors to The Royal Oldham Hospital a much better experience, so with this new artwork we hope that we have achieved some pleasure for all who visit the A&E department.  We will continue with our fundraising to achieve this aim.”

The details within the embroidered work will now form the basis for further photographic pieces to be incorporated into the A&E department, forming a trail of pieces into the hospital.

The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary are part of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which also comprises North Manchester General Hospital and Fairfield General Hospital in Bury.

Pictured left to right: Lou Gardiner, artist; Betty Tominson, Margaret Williamson, League of Friends treasurer Pat Wild, Hazel Hewitt, Ann Garside, League of Friends chairman Joy Burston, Anne Morris, League of Friends secretary Rose Hall, Sylvia Holland and Brenda Young.