The En’Light’en Project was launched in 2016 and was marked by two installations at Cheesburn Sculpture Park, Northumberland. The first – ‘En’Light’en: Hayloft’, May 2016, was a temporary installation of dichroic glass which transformed the space above the stables into a spectrum of projected light and colour. The second is entitled ‘En’Light’en: Taxus Baccata’ and is a suspended sculpture in an ancient yew tree. Both works bring light into the darkened spaces they inhabit and invite public response to the experience. During my Leverhulme residency at Durham University (2017) a further installation at Cheeseburn took place in May 2017 and this along with images of work associated with the project was exhibited from May – September 2017.  Arts Council funding in 2018/19 has enabled me to build on the success of the En’Light’en Project with a focus on the critical care environment. This project seeks to bring positive change and connection to the natural world. Light, sound, colour,  and changeability are themes explored, bringing the dynamism of nature into clinical spaces.


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For the past few months I have worked with critical care patients at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough seeking to positively change their experience of these clinical spaces. Bringing changing light, colour, projected imagery and sound, I have enabled patients to have some control over their environment and their view from a hospital bed. I have collaborated with computer scientists to develop control systems, powered by Raspberry Pi, which enable patients to control their lighting and select projected imagery and sound from a library we have been creating.

Patients have been consulted on the imagery they would like to see and the library has grown over months in response to their requests. They can also add to the library themselves, with images and videos of their own. I have worked with patients both in side rooms and in the multi-bedded critical care units. Through a collaborative process, working with an innovative MSc Computing student at Teesside University, we have developed projection systems and lighting units that are adaptable, so they can be easily installed in the varying bed spaces and that are designed to meet the strict infection control constraints. The aim has been to develop systems that are easy to install, easy to use and are affordable. With fantastic support from NHS staff and patients; computer scientists and academics at both Teesside and Durham Universities; sound artists and sound specialists at Newcastle University, this project has demonstrated great potential for future development.


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Over the past few months I have worked with staff and patients in critical care, changing the environment with light, colour and projected imagery. One patient I met, and have worked with closely, was admitted in June 2018 and has now spent a year in this strange environment. Her insights have been invaluable in the development of my work in the critical care unit and I am documenting her personal experience and journey through critical care. In this time, she has experienced many different bed locations within the unit and I am recording the views from each of them. It is hard to imagine spending months in this clinical environment but from the images here we get a glimpse of the patients eye view. There is a desperate need for change here.


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Last week I spent the day in critical care at James Cook University Hospital and presented the project to staff, patients and visitors. It was a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback on work in progress. There is a high level of support across the board for the project and each person had their own personal experience to share. A great day!


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Over 1300 people attended the Open Studios event this weekend and it was great to welcome visitors to my new experimental space at 36 Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne.  The studio has no windows, yet I was delighted to find that many visitors believed the space was flooded with natural light. I demonstrated a range of lighting ideas including projection and the illuminated screen shown here, that changes colour depending upon your angle of view and in response to the general ambient lighting conditions.  It was great to discuss the phenmenon of light with so many people and to get feedback on my experimental work.


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