Hillingdon Hospital: Lightbox and Photography

Ceiling lightbox installed in Nuclear Medicine department at Hillingdon HospitalImage Credit: Anthony Prothero

Artworks are helping to create a strong identity for the new Nuclear Medicine Suite at Hillingdon Hospital.

Willis Newson worked with the team at the hospital to think about how the environment could be enhanced to create a distinctive visual identity for this new area of the hospital and also to create a reassuring atmosphere for patients.

Patients can find Nuclear Medicine a scary prospect and often feel anxious or worried about their treatment. The artworks help to soften the impact of the machines and medical equipment and enhance the healing environment.

"I think this is a fabulous idea. It will be much more relaxing for patients to meditate whilst being scanned." - Patient Feedback

"The staff, throughout the department, feel that the artwork has provided a more friendly, inviting environment to an otherwise very clinical area. It has made the Radiology department, especially Nuclear medicine, distinguished, compared to adjacent departments." - Radiology team feedback

Artists Alison Milner and Steve Speller were commissioned to produce a large scale feature wall vinyl, a ceiling lightbox and also framed artworks for the waiting room. The theme of the commission was 'local history' and the artists responded by creating photomontages which looked at Hillingdon past and present. 

The works depict present day landmarks in the hospital catchment area, overlaid with imagined scenes from the distant past of prehistory when the area would have been marshy heathland - effectively ‘landscape x-rays’.

The work was inspired by the fact that traces of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age artifacts and landscape features have been excavated by archeologists in the area, including the excavation of the Stanwell Cursus prior to the building of Heathrow’s Terminal 5. 

Hillingdon artwork by Steve Speller and Alison MilnerArtwork by photographer Steve Speller and digital artist Alison Milner

As well as humanising the clinical space, the artwork has also started conversations throughout the hospital:

"Surprisingly, the subject chosen for the artwork has generated interest in the "local history" amongst staff and patients not just from the radiology department but from all over the hospital too." - Radiology Team feedback.

The framed images in the waiting room, wall vinyl in the corridor and lightbox have all helped to create a friendly atmosphere in the unit, improve people's experience of the patient pathway and build a strong identity for the space.

Visualisation of artwork in situ showing a landscape scene of HillingdonVisualisation of the feature wall artwork in situ

"Personally, as I value art immensely, it was a great experience working with Alison, Steve and my colleagues in creating an identity for Nuclear Medicine...... a modality so often overlooked as well as misunderstood."

Lubna Hussain
Superintendent Radiographer