NHS Portsmouth

Two commissions; welcome sculpture and ward garden sculpture reflecting the hospital's values of dignity and compassion.

“They will stand like the wards’ Guardian Angels”, Ward Manager, Andy Tysoe.

Client: Portsmouth NHS Hospital

Agent: Willis Newson

Materials: Cold cast bronze

Height:  3.2 - 3.8 metres

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The Limes Ward is an inpatient unit, with a functional wing, organic wing and communal areas including a therapies department. The Limes is named after a mature lime tree located in the main garden of the unit which influenced the interior colour scheme.

Main themes: Privacy, Dignity & Compassion
Additional themes: Nature, Woodland, Limes, Leaves, Water, Light, Sensory
Should be: Welcoming, Calming, Peaceful

Approach to Artworks

I wanted the sculptures to draw on and enhance the core impressions delivered by the lime tree.  It was symbolic on several levels; the lime tree provides a living, natural welcome to the grounds.  It is rooted firmly in the ground, providing a sense of pride and dignity.  Its treelike structure offers shade and privacy whilst a closer look at its leaves and stems reveal its delicate nature.  This echoes the compassion experienced within the hospital. 

I found this lovely quote on caring for lime trees,

“Knowing how to water, fertilize and care for lime trees ensures healthy, handsome trees and a rewarding harvest.”

This emotive response echoed the themes the sculptures needed to portray about the hospital and the compassion of its workers as they care for patients and visitors.


Lime tree drawings


Ben Barrell / +44 7970 872435 / info@benbarrell.co.uk